Desserts Through Time – A History of Dessert
There is more to the history of dessert than just working out when the first ice cream or cheesecake was served. Sweet foods date back to ancient civilizations where the very first desserts were candies which were made with ingredients like dried dates and raw honeycomb.
Sugar was not manufactured until the Middle Ages, although it was so expensive in the early days that only the wealthy could afford it, and it was used to make confections for special occasions.
You can trace the origins of popular modern desserts like popsicles and ice cream back to the Middle Ages when royalty would request fresh ice with a fruit syrup or honey drizzled over it.
Facts About the Word “Dessert”
The word dessert is used in the US, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, but sweet, afters or pudding are more common terms in the UK and also in some other countries like India. The word pudding is usually used in England, although the word dessert can be substituted if the course is made with fruit or sweetmeats and comes after the cheese course.
Modern dessert recipes became popular through culinary experimentation and the evolution of technology and today’s favorites would have been unrecognizable a few hundred years ago when desserts were very different. When the flavors are good, the recipe is widespread, and the timing is right, a dessert can become a treasured national favorite.
Throughout history dessert has been a nice way to finish a meal, which is why it is important to learn a few simple dessert recipes, so you can make a complete dinner, not just the first part of the meal.
Find Out More About the History of Dessert in our more in depth look at its history.
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