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Jun 13, 2014 08:21 PM

Favorite dessert by nationality?

For me:

American - Frozen custard
Italian - Pistachio gelato
French - Ecclair
Chinese - Egg tart
Indian - Kulfi
Spanish - Churros
Mexican - Paleta
Polish - Krówki
Indonesian - Martabak Manis
Japanese - Monaka


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  1. Frozen custard? There's nothing as American as apple pie...

    I'm not a big dessert person, but I'll always go for cannoli if they're on the menu. Whether they're Italian or Italian-American I can't say.

    For French, tarte tartine (at least northern France). I think of churros as more Mexican than Spanish, but that's me (I'll go for flan in either case).

    I don't really know what Chinese cuisine (a very varied thing of itself) does for desserts, but if I had to pick a sweet it would be the black bean/sesame seed balls.

    English cuisine has some good desserts - sticky pudding and trifle come to mind.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tardigrade

      I think Mexican and Spanish churros are different. Mexican seem to be coated in cinnamon and sugar usually while Spanish are dipped in thick hot chocolate.

      1. re: tardigrade

        Cannoli are definitely Italian. If you have a chance, visit Naples. You'll recognize a lot of the desserts there, but they'll be spectacular and blow you away. During my first visit there, in 1991, I walked down Via Toledo (officially Via Roma) one night and had fantastic baba au rhum, cannoli, and various other things. It was a great night.

      2. Slovenia - Gibanica and Kremeschnitte
        Germany - Schwartzwalderkirschtorte
        Italy - Stracciatelle gelato
        Austria - Sachertorte
        Denmark - Weinerbrod
        Norway - Krumkaka
        France - Palmier

        1. American - deep dish apple crisp
          Italian - tiramisu or lemon ricotta cheesecake
          French - *any* pâte à choux pastry
          Chinese - candied walnuts with vanilla ice cream
          and/or red bean donuts
          Indian - carrot halwah
          Portuguese - pastel de nata
          Mexican - flan
          Dominican - morir soñando
          Polish - paczki
          Japanese - chilled sake
          Greek - galaktoboureko

          8 Replies
          1. re: Cheese Boy

            Yeah, carrot halwah can be fantastic. Oddly enough, though I've been to India and ate marvelously there, the best carrot halwah I've ever eaten is still the first I ever had, at an Indian restaurant in Tokyo that was associated with the Indian Embassy there. We actually disgusted the waitstaff and manager by pigging out so much there, everything was so outstanding!

            1. re: Pan

              Reminds me of pumpkin pie. Although my Indian friends were not too impressed by the comparison!

              1. re: julesrules

                Pumpkin pie isn't full of cardamom.

                1. re: Pan

                  To me cardamom fits in with American "pie" spices and I will often sub out for cinnamon or add it into the mix. I know cardamom has a specific/distinct flavour but I don't really taste it that way anymore if that makes any sense at all!

                  1. re: Pan

                    Cardamom pumpkin pie would be delicious . I should add that to the delicious foods I've never tried thread. :)

                    1. re: prima

                      oooh- I think they'd be great in an "egg tart" size!

                      1. re: prima

                        I actually made a cardamom-heavy "chai-spiced" pumpkin pie one Thanksgiving, with candied walnuts on top.... my family loved it, I thought it was fine.

                        1. re: julesrules

                          That sounds awesome. Balzac ' s makes a cardamom-spiced Latte Nordique that's quite tasty.

              2. Do you mean your favorite dessert from each country or what you think is the national favorite dessert? I'm assuming it's the former.

                American: Apple pie with vanilla ice cream
                Italian: Gelato
                English: Gooseberry fool
                French: Tarte tatin
                Austrian: Germknoedel (plum dumpling served in a butter sauce with poppy seeds)
                Spanish: Flan
                Chinese: Egg tarts

                1 Reply
                1. English - lemon posset
                  Scottish - cranachan
                  Welsh - bara brith (more cake than dessert)
                  British (generic) - apple pie

                  French - tarte au citron

                  Spanish - none are worth the calories

                  Italian - ice cream (pref. frutti de bosco)

                  Cypriot - loukoumades (sp?)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Harters

                    Loukoumades are the best!! Not as cloyingly sweet as galaktombouriko or baklava.

                    1. re: Harters

                      Cranachan - yay! And the first raspberries are just ready for picking next week.

                      1. re: Harters

                        curious, Harters - what do you mean by Welsh - bara brith ("more cake than dessert") - are cakes not considered dessert in England?

                        1. re: mariacarmen

                          Not really, mc.

                          There are cakes - like carrot cake, fruit cake, Victoria sponge, Battenburg, bara brith - which you'd only eat as a snack with a coffee or tea. You'd never seem them as dessert.

                          On the other hand, chocolate brownies often appear on dessert menus. I suspect that's an import, if you like, from Brits having visited America. From time to time, you do see cakey type desserts - generally also involving chocolate.

                          By way of example, we had a pub lunch yesterday - the dessert menu comprised - sticky toffee pudding, chocolate parfait, cheesecake, creme brulee, bread & butter pudding, Vimto trifle, cheese, ice cream and sorbet. We actually passed on dessert but I am so going back for Vimto trifle.

                          In the past, you might have seen cake served as dessert in what used to be called "high tea". High tea was an early evening family meal (usually working class family)where there would be a basic hot main course, followed by cake or, perhaps, pie.