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  • Many of us know desserts to be

  • the last guilty pleasure after a meal.

  • But did you know that

  • before the 17th century in Europe,

  • what we know as desserts

  • were used to cleanse the palate between courses?

  • In many parts of the world,

  • sugar was a rare and expensive ingredient.

  • It wasn't until colonists generated and expanded

  • the production of sugar fields through slave labor

  • that the price of sugar was lowered.

  • By the mid-17th century,

  • cookbooks dedicated to desserts were published.

  • With many different textures, colors, and flavors,

  • here are some of the best desserts

  • that exist around the world.

  • This sweet treat got its name

  • from the politician Eduardo Gomes,

  • who ran for president of Brazil in the 1940s.

  • Brigadeiros, which were inspired

  • by Gomes' military rank, brigadier,

  • quickly became a popular treat sold by women

  • who supported him at rallies.

  • He lost the election,

  • but the bite-sized treat lives on.

  • It is made with condensed milk, butter,

  • and cocoa powder and covered with chocolate sprinkles.

  • In Nigeria, the act of repeating a word twice

  • is deeply embedded in the culture.

  • It is used for clarity and emphasis.

  • Puff puff is deep-fried dough

  • sprinkled with powdered sugar in some cases,

  • and it can be served as both an appetizer and a dessert,

  • savory or sweet.

  • When I first think of mochi,

  • I think of the mochi ice cream

  • in boxes sold at Trader Joe's,

  • but that's just the American take on the famous dessert.

  • Mochi is actually a rice cake made from mochigome.

  • This rice becomes glutinous when boiled

  • and doughy when steamed.

  • Water and air are huge factors

  • in the transformation of mochigome

  • to the mochi dessert that we know.

  • Water prevents the mochi from being a sticky mess,

  • and air contributes to the gooey stretch.

  • The word tembleque is

  • associated with the Spanish word

  • temblar, which means to jiggle or tremble.

  • This definitely represents the consistency of this dessert.

  • A coconut pudding, or custard if you wish,

  • templeque is a holiday dessert

  • that has numerous variations throughout Latin America.

  • But no matter where you are, it is best eaten cold.

  • Legend has it that chimney cakes

  • were invented by women in Transylvania

  • during the Mongol invasion in 1241.

  • In order to convince the Mongols

  • that they would outlive them during a stalemate,

  • the women of Transylvania came up with a plan

  • that mixed flour with water

  • wrapped around a wooden stick.

  • This gave the illusion of large portions of bread,

  • but they were in fact hollow on the inside.

  • Starving and disappointed, the Mongols left,

  • and chimney cakes went on to be popular

  • in both Romania and Hungary.

  • This next dessert takes us here

  • to Little Cupcake Bakeshop in New York,

  • home to one of my favorite American desserts.

  • And, no, it is not apple pie.

  • Many people wonder, is red velvet cake

  • simply just chocolate cake with red food dye?

  • And the answer is: not exactly.

  • Though the dessert has

  • cocoa powder as one of the ingredients,

  • it also calls for vinegar and buttermilk.

  • The acidic flavors mixed with the cream-cheese frosting

  • makes for a dessert that is definitely not chocolate cake.

  • The red velvet cake stems back to a marketing ploy

  • by an American food-coloring company.

  • During the Great Depression, in order to boost sales,

  • the Adams Extract company added red food coloring

  • to velvet cake in order to give it

  • the bright, distinct color that we know today.

  • So as demand for the dessert increased,

  • so did their revenue.

  • Banoffee pie is a sweet combination

  • of bananas, toffee, and whipped cream

  • on a thick graham-cracker crust.

  • The word banoffee itself is actually a portmanteau

  • from words banana and toffee.

  • It was invented at a restaurant in Sussex, England,

  • and became world-famous.

  • Yakgwa, meaning \"medicinal confection,\"

  • got its name because honey was known in Korea

  • as healthy medicine.

  • Yakgwa is a deep-fried cookie

  • soaked in honey for six to eight hours.

  • The history of this dessert is tied to special occasions

  • like royal banquets or Chuseok.

  • Though originally enjoyed mostly by the upper class

  • because of the honey, it is commonly eaten today

  • and still served for Chuseok.

  • Soaked in a series of three milks,

  • evaporated, condensed, and heavy cream or whole milk,

  • this dessert is incredibly simple

  • yet deliciously complex.

  • Although people are not entirely sure

  • where the dessert originated,

  • the main consensus is Mexico.

  • It was Nestlé that took the tres leches cake mainstream

  • by featuring the recipe on cans

  • of evaporated, condensed, and cream milk.

  • Despite the marketing scheme,

  • tres leches developed its own cultural significance

  • in families all across Latin America.

  • Stroopwafel is a sweet, caramellike filling

  • sandwiched between two thin waffle cookies

  • and was invented in the Dutch city of Gouda.

  • Gerard Kamphuisen, who is credited as the inventor,

  • took leftover bread crumbs

  • and mixed them with a thick syrup.

  • Warm up the caramel by letting the stroopwafel

  • sit on a cup of coffee or tea before consuming,

  • and you won't be sorry.

  • A Filipino word meaning "mix-mix,"

  • halo-halo is a popular dessert in the Philippines

  • made up of shaved ice, condensed milk,

  • and fun sweet toppings like fruit, jellies, beans,

  • ube ice cream, or sweet custard.

  • This sweet treat is derived from

  • the Japanese dessert kakigori.

  • With the mix of Japanese occupation before World War II

  • and the ice plant built by Americans

  • in the Philippines in 1902, it was only a matter of time

  • before Filipinos redesigned the ice treat

  • to make what is known today as halo-halo.

  • The origins of this dessert are a bit murky,

  • with the Catalans saying their crema Catalana

  • preceded France's crème brûlée

  • as well as Britain saying its trinity cream was the first.

  • However, thanks to chef François Massialot,

  • France has the oldest recipe in writing,

  • dating back to 1691.

  • Crème brûlée is a custard topped with sugar that gets

  • torched to create a

  • caramelized, hardened top layer.

  • Unlike crème brûlée, where the curdling, or clumping,

  • of eggs in the custard is the sign of a mishap,

  • baked custard welcomes the slight cooking of the egg.

  • Instead of including only the egg yolk, like most custards,

  • baked custard includes the entire egg

  • and can be served warm or cool, based on preference.

  • Did you know that the correct way

  • to eat a Belgian waffle is with your hands?

  • The Belgian waffle,

  • originally called Brussels waffle,

  • is one of two types of waffles that originated in Belgium.

  • Americans know the Belgian waffle

  • as a delicious breakfast food, but not many of us

  • are actually eating the waffle as it was intended.

  • Belgian waffles are not to be eaten with a knife and fork,

  • but rather with your hands.

  • And no syrup. Maybe fruit or whipped cream at most.

  • Maurice Vermersch was the one who changed the name

  • from Brussels waffle to Belgian,

  • because Americans did not know where Brussels was.

  • Partly influenced by British colonial occupation,

  • this dessert actually has health benefits.

  • Currants are high in fiber;

  • manganese, which helps strengthen bones;

  • potassium; and copper, which helps with metabolism.

  • Trinidadians eat the rolls casually

  • as an afternoon snack or sometimes breakfast.

  • This dessert actually is not pudding at all.