Dessert (/dɪˈzɜːrt/) is a course that concludes an evening meal. The course usually consists of sweet foods, such as confections dishes or fruit, and possibly a beverage such as dessert wine or liqueur, but in America it may include coffee, cheeses, nuts, or other savory items regarded as a separate course elsewhere. In some parts of the world, such as much of central and western Africa, and most parts of China, there is no tradition of a dessert course to conclude a meal

The term dessert can apply to many confections, such as biscuits, cakes, cookies, custards, gelatins, ice creams, pastries, pies, puddings, and sweet soups, and tarts. Fruit is also commonly found in dessert courses because of its naturally occurring sweetness. Some cultures sweeten foods that are more commonly savory to create desserts.

20150319-OC-LSC-0013 (16682473278)
A culinary student preparing desserts in Lawrenceville, Georgia, 2015
TypeUsually sweet
VariationsNumerous (biscuits, cakes, tarts, cookies, sandeshs, gelatins, ice creams, pastries, pies, puddings, custards, and sweet soups, etc.)
Rajbhog - sweet
Rajbhog - variant of kesar rasgulla stuffed inside with dry fruits and khoa from India.
Coconut and Jaggery Balls ...... Bengali Narkel Naru
Laddu is often served on Indian festivals such as Raksha Bandhan and Diwali.


The word "dessert" originated from the French word desservir, meaning "to clear the table."[1] Its first known use was in 1600, in a health education manual entitled Naturall and artificial Directions for Health, written by William Vaughan.[2][3] In his A History of Dessert (2013), Michael Krondl explains it refers to the fact dessert was served after the table had been cleared of other dishes.[4] The term dates from the 14th century but attained its current meaning around the beginning of the 20th century when "service à la française" (setting a variety of dishes on the table at the same time) was replaced with "service à la russe" (presenting a meal in courses.)"[4]


The word "dessert" is most commonly used for this course in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United States, while "pudding", "sweet", or more colloquially, "afters" are also used in the United Kingdom[5] and some other Commonwealth countries, including Hong Kong and India.


Spread sugarcane
The spread of sugarcane from ancient India to the world.
Chum chums
Some Indian confectionery desserts from hundreds of varieties. In certain parts of India, these are called mithai or sweets. Sugar and desserts have a long history in India: by about 500 BC, people in India had developed the technology to produce sugar crystals. In the local language, these crystals were called khanda (खण्ड), which is the source of the word candy.[6]

Sweets were fed to the gods in ancient Mesopotamia[7]:6 and ancient India[7]:16 and other ancient civilizations.[8] Dried fruit and honey were probably the first sweeteners used in most of the world, but the spread of sugarcane around the world was essential to the development of dessert.[7]:13

Sugarcane was grown and refined in India before 500 BC[7]:26 and was crystallized, making it easy to transport, by 500 AD. Sugar and sugarcane were traded, making sugar available to Macedonia by 300 BC and China by 600 AD. In the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and China, sugar has been a staple of cooking and desserts for over a thousand years. Sugarcane and sugar were little known and rare in Europe until the twelfth century or later, when the Crusades and then colonization spread its use.

Herodotus mentions that, as opposed to the Greeks, the main Persian meal was simple, but they would eat many desserts afterwards.[9][10]

Europeans began to manufacture sugar in the Middle Ages, and more sweet desserts became available.[11] Even then sugar was so expensive usually only the wealthy could indulge on special occasions. The first apple pie recipe was published in 1381.[12] The earliest documentation of the term cupcake was in "Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats" in 1828 in Eliza Leslie's Receipts cookbook.[13]

The Industrial Revolution in Europe and later America caused desserts (and food in general) to be mass-produced, processed, preserved, canned, and packaged. Frozen foods, including desserts, became very popular starting in the 1920s when freezing emerged. These processed foods became a large part of diets in many industrialized nations. Many countries have desserts and foods distinctive to their nations or region.[14]


Sweet desserts usually contain cane sugar, palm sugar, honey or some types of syrup such as molasses, maple syrup, treacle, or corn syrup. Other common ingredients in Western-style desserts are flour or other starches, Cooking fats such as butter or lard, dairy, eggs, salt, acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, and spices and other flavoring agents such as chocolate, peanut butter, fruits, and nuts. The proportions of these ingredients, along with the preparation methods, play a major part in the consistency, texture, and flavor of the end product.

Sugars contribute moisture and tenderness to baked goods. Flour or starch components serves as a protein and gives the dessert structure. Fats contribute moisture and can enable the development of flaky layers in pastries and pie crusts. The dairy products in baked goods keep the desserts moist. Many desserts also contain eggs, in order to form custard or to aid in the rising and thickening of a cake-like substance. Egg yolks specifically contribute to the richness of desserts. Egg whites can act as a leavening agent[15] or provide structure. Further innovation in the healthy eating movement has led to more information being available about vegan and gluten-free substitutes for the standard ingredients, as well as replacements for refined sugar.

Desserts can contain many spices and extracts to add a variety of flavors. Salt and acids are added to desserts to balance sweet flavors and create a contrast in flavors. Some desserts are coffee-flavored, for example an iced coffee soufflé or coffee biscuits.[16] Alcohol can also be used as an ingredient, to make alcoholic desserts.[17]


Dessert consist of variations of flavors, textures, and appearances. Desserts can be defined as a usually sweeter course that concludes a meal.[1] This definition includes a range of courses ranging from fruits or dried nuts to multi-ingredient cakes and pies. Many cultures have different variations of dessert. In modern times the variations of desserts have usually been passed down or come from geographical regions. This is one cause for the variation of desserts. These are some major categories in which desserts can be placed.[4]

Biscuits or cookies

Biscuits, (from the Old French word bescuit originally meaning twice-baked in Latin,[18][n 1] also known as "cookies" in North America, are flattish bite-sized or larger short pastries generally intended to be eaten out of the hand. Biscuits can have a texture that is crispy, chewy, or soft. Examples include layered bars, crispy meringues, and soft chocolate chip cookies.


German chocolate cake, a layered cake filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting.

Cakes are sweet tender breads made with sugar and delicate flour. Cakes can vary from light, airy sponge cakes to dense cakes with less flour. Common flavorings include dried, candied or fresh fruit, nuts, cocoa or extracts. They may be filled with fruit preserves or dessert sauces (like pastry cream), iced with buttercream or other icings, and decorated with marzipan, piped borders, or candied fruit. Cake is often served as a celebratory dish on ceremonial occasions, for example weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. Small-sized cakes have become popular, in the form of cupcakes and petits fours.

Chocolates and candies

Valentines Day Chocolates from 2005
Valentine's Day chocolates

Chocolate is a typically sweet, usually brown, food preparation of Theobroma cacao seeds, roasted, ground, and often flavored. Pure, unsweetened chocolate contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate currently consumed is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining chocolate with sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids. Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar to the cacao mixture, with no milk or much less than milk chocolate.

Candy, also called sweets or lollies, is a confection that features sugar as a principal ingredient. Many candies involve the crystallization of sugar which varies the texture of sugar crystals. Candies comprise many forms including caramel, marshmallows, and taffy.

Custards and puddings


These kinds of desserts usually include a thickened dairy base. Custards are cooked and thickened with eggs. Baked custards include crème brûlée and flan. Puddings are thickened with starches such as corn starch or tapioca.[19] Custards and puddings are often used as ingredients in other desserts, for instance as a filling for pastries or pies.

Deep-fried desserts

Gulaab Jamun (homemade!) bright
Gulab jamun topped with almond slivers is one of the most popular sweets from the Indian subcontinent.

Many cuisines include a dessert made of deep-fried starch-based batter or dough. In many countries, a doughnut is a flour-based batter that has been deep-fried. It is sometimes filled with custard or jelly. Fritters are fruit pieces in a thick batter that have been deep fried. Gulab jamun is an Indian dessert made of milk solids kneaded into a dough, deep-fried, and soaked in honey. Churros are a deep-fried and sugared dough that is eaten as dessert or a snack in many countries. Doughnuts are most famous for being a trademark favorite of fictional character Homer Simpson from the animated television series The Simpsons.[20]

Frozen desserts

Kulfi inside a matka pot from India.

Ice cream, gelato, sorbet and shaved-ice desserts fit into this category. Ice cream is a cream base that is churned as it is frozen to create a creamy consistency. Gelato uses a milk base and has less air whipped in than ice cream, making it denser. Sorbet is made from churned fruit and is not dairy based. Shaved-ice desserts are made by shaving a block of ice and adding flavored syrup or juice to the ice shavings.

Jellied desserts

Jellied desserts are made with a sweetened liquid thickened with gelatin or another thickening agent. They are traditional in many cultures. Grass jelly and annin tofu are Chinese jellied desserts. Yōkan is a Japanese jellied dessert. In English-speaking countries, many dessert recipes are based on gelatin with fruit or whipped cream added.


Croissants au beurre (18953292873)
Croissants au beurre

Pastries are sweet baked pastry products. Pastries can either take the form of light and flaky bread with an airy texture, such as a croissant or unleavened dough with a high fat content and crispy texture, such as shortbread. Pastries are often flavored or filled with fruits, chocolate, nuts, and spices. Pastries are sometimes eaten with tea or coffee as a breakfast food.

Pies, cobblers, and clafoutis

Pies and cobblers are a crust with a filling. The crust can be either made from either a pastry or crumbs. Pie fillings range from fruits to puddings; cobbler fillings are generally fruit-based. Clafoutis are a batter with fruit-based filling poured over the top before baking.

Sweet soups

Tong sui, literally translated as "sugar water" and also known as tim tong, is a collective term for any sweet, warm soup or custard served as a dessert at the end of a meal in Cantonese cuisine. Tong sui are a Cantonese specialty and are rarely found in other regional cuisines of China. Outside of Cantonese-speaking communities, soupy desserts generally are not recognized as a distinct category, and the term tong sui is not used.

Dessert wines

Dessert wines are sweet wines typically served with dessert. There is no simple definition of a dessert wine. In the UK, a dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white[21] fortified wines (fino and amontillado sherry) drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines (port and madeira) drunk after it. Thus, most fortified wines are regarded as distinct from dessert wines, but some of the less strong fortified white wines, such as Pedro Ximénez sherry and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, are regarded as honorary dessert wines. In the United States, by contrast, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines - and is taxed at higher rates as a result. Examples include Sauternes and Tokaji Aszú.


Baked Alaska (5097717743)

Baked Alaska, ice cream and cake topped with browned meringue

Baklava - Turkish special, 80-ply.JPEG

Baklava, a pastry comprising layers of filo with chopped nuts, sweetened and held together with syrup or honey

Homemade Flan

Baked custard

Brennan's Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster, made from bananas and vanilla ice cream with a sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum and banana liqueur

Plain cheesecake

Cheesecake, a type of dessert with a layer of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, eggs and sugar

Cannoli siciliani (7472226896)

Cannolis with Pistachio Grain, Candied and Chocolate Drops

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse, a chocolate variety of a dessert incorporating air bubbles to give it a light and airy texture


Coconut bar, made with coconut milk and set with either tang flour and corn starch, or agar agar and gelatin

Creme brulee

Preparation of crème brûlée, a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel

Egg custard tart by Stu Spivack

Egg custard tarts, a pastry originating from Guangzhou, China.

Hwangnam bread (cropped)

Gyeongju bread, a small pastry with a filling of red bean paste


Hotteok (a variety of filled Korean pancake) with edible seeds, sugar, and cinnamon

Kkultarae, Korean court cake

Kkultarae, fine strands of honey and maltose, often with a sweet nut filling

Jell-o cream cheese square

Jell-o cream cheese square

Lemon tart (cropped)

Lemon tart, a pastry shell with a lemon-flavored filling

Pastry assortment

An assortment of pastries

Rum cake

Rum cake, a type of cake containing rum

Banana pudding, homemade

Homemade banana pudding

By continent

Grass jelly is a jelly-like dessert eaten in several Asian countries.


Throughout much of central and western Africa, there is no tradition of a dessert course following a meal.[22][23] Fruit or fruit salad would be eaten instead, which may be spiced, or sweetened with a sauce. In some former colonies in the region, the colonial power has influenced desserts – for example, the Angolan cocada amarela (yellow coconut) resembles baked desserts in Portugal.[23]


Classic bubble tea
Bubble tea is famous for its varieties of flavors with bubbles and jellies.

In Asia, desserts are often eaten between meals as snacks rather than as a concluding course. There is widespread use of rice flour in East Asian desserts, which often include local ingredients such as coconut milk, palm sugar, and tropical fruit.[24] In India, where sugarcane has been grown and refined since before 500 BCE, desserts have been an important part of the diet for thousands of years; types of desserts include burfis, halvahs, jalebis, and laddus.[7]:37

Dessert nowadays are made into drinks as well, such as Bubble Tea. It is originated in Taiwan, which locates in East Asia. Bubble tea is a kind of dessert made with flavor tea or milk with tapioca. It is well-known across the world.[25]


Postres turcos
Some Turkish cuisine desserts like baklava, şöbiyet, sütlü nuriye, kalburabastı, burma kadayıf, kadayıf dolma, and badem tatlısı.

In Ukraine and Russia, breakfast foods such as nalysnyky or blintz or oladi (pancakes), and syrniki are served with honey and jam as desserts.

North America

European colonization of the Americas yielded the introduction of a number of ingredients and cooking styles. The various styles continued expanding well into the 19th and 20th centuries, proportional to the influx of immigrants.

South America

Cocadas ferrol
Cocadas are a traditional coconut candy or confectionery found in many parts of Latin America, made with eggs and shredded coconut.

Dulce de leche is a very common confection in Argentina.[26] In Bolivia, sugarcane, honey and coconut are traditionally used in desserts.[27] Tawa tawa is a Bolivian sweet fritter prepared using sugar cane, and helado de canela is a dessert that is similar to sherbet which is prepared with cane sugar and cinnamon.[27] Coconut tarts, puddings cookies and candies are also consumed in Bolivia.[27] Brazil has a variety of candies such as brigadeiros (chocolate fudge balls), cocada (a coconut sweet), beijinhos (coconut truffles and clove) and romeu e julieta (cheese with a guava jam known as goiabada). Peanuts are used to make paçoca, rapadura and pé-de-moleque. Local common fruits are turned in juices and used to make chocolates, ice pops and ice cream.[28] In Chile, kuchen has been described as a "trademark dessert."[29] Several desserts in Chile are prepared with manjar, (caramelized milk), including alfajor, flan, cuchufli and arroz con leche.[29] Desserts consumed in Colombia include dulce de leche, waffle cookies,[30] puddings, nougat, coconut with syrup and thickened milk with sugarcane syrup.[31] Desserts in Ecuador tend to be simple, and desserts are a moderate part of the cuisine.[32] Desserts consumed in Ecuador include tres leches cake, flan, candies and various sweets.[32]


Desserts are typically eaten in Australia, and most daily meals "end with simple desserts," which can include various fruits.[33] More complex desserts include cakes, pies and cookies, which are sometimes served during special occasions.[33]


The market for desserts has grown over the last few decades, which was greatly increased by the commercialism of baking desserts and the rise of food productions. Desserts are present in most restaurants as the popularity has increased. Many commercial stores have been established as solely desserts stores. Ice cream parlors have been around since before 1800.[34] Many businesses started advertising campaigns focusing solely on desserts. The tactics used to market desserts are very different depending on the audience for example desserts can be advertised with popular movie characters to target children.[35] The rise of companies like Food Network has marketed many shows which feature dessert and their creation. Shows like these have displayed extreme desserts and made a game show atmosphere which made desserts a more competitive field.[36]

Desserts are a standard staple in restaurant menus, with different degrees of variety. Pie and cheesecake were among the most popular dessert courses ordered in U.S. restaurants in 2012.[37]


Dessert foods often contain relatively high amounts of sugar and fats and, as a result, higher calorie counts per gram than other foods. Fresh or cooked fruit with minimal added sugar or fat is an exception.[38]

See also

List articles


  1. ^ a b "Dessert". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Incorporated. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  2. ^ "dessert". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Charlton, Anne (2005). "An example of health education in the early 17th century: Naturall and artificial Directions for Health by William Vaughan". Health Education Research. 20 (6): 656–664. doi:10.1093/her/cyh030. open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ a b c Drzal, Dawn. "How We Got to Dessert". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Eating and Drinking". The Septic's Companion. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  6. ^ Elizabeth Abbot (2010). Sugar: A Bitterweet History. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-590-20297-5.
  7. ^ a b c d e Kondl, Michael (2011). Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert. Chicago IL: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-55652-954-2.
  8. ^ "Lessons From History: Fruit is a Dessert". Nourishing Gourmet. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  9. ^ "HERODOTUS iii. DEFINING THE PERSIANS – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Internet History Sourcebooks". Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  11. ^ Adamson (2004). p. 89. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Newcomb, Tim. "Happy Pi Day! 8 Notable Pi(e)s in History". Time. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  13. ^ "Cupcake History". Crazy About Cupcakes. Archived from the original on 2 December 2014.
  14. ^ Mintz, Steven. "Food in America". Digital History. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Baking Flour Facts". TLC. Discovery Communications, LLC. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  16. ^ Brien, Donna Lee (May 2012). "Powdered, Essence or Brewed?: Making and Cooking with Coffee in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s". M/C Journal. 15 (2). Archived from the original on 22 March 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  17. ^ Emoff, Katherine (21 October 2014). "Alcoholic Sweet Treats Turning Dessert Into a Party". ABC News. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Biscuit". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2009. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  19. ^ Bloom, Carole (2006). The essential baker : the comprehensive guide to baking with fruits, nuts, spices, chocolate, and other ingredients. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. p. 672. ISBN 978-0-7645-7645-4.
  20. ^ "Why Homer Simpson's pink doughnut is the ring to rule them all - CNET". Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  21. ^ Breton, Félicien. "The 7 major types of white wines - French Scout".
  22. ^ Wilson, Ellen Gibson (1971). A West African cook book. Distributed by Lippincott, Philadelphia,. M. Evans. p. 171. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  23. ^ a b Roufs, Timothy G.; Roufs, Kathleen Smyth (2014). Sweet Treats around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-1-61069-221-2.
  24. ^ Classic Asian cakes and desserts : quick and delicious favorites. Singapore: Periplus. 2003. p. 3. ISBN 0-7946-0213-4. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  25. ^ "Bubble Tea History". Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  26. ^ Roufs, T.G.; Roufs, K.S. (2014). Sweet Treats around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-61069-221-2.
  27. ^ a b c Roufs, T.G.; Roufs, K.S. (2014). Sweet Treats around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-61069-221-2.
  28. ^ Freyre, Gilberto. Açúcar. Uma Sociologia do Doce, com Receitas de Bolos e Doces do Nordeste do Brasil. São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 1997.
  29. ^ a b Burford, T. (2005). Chile: The Bradt Travel Guide. Bradt Guides. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-84162-076-3.
  30. ^ Cathey, K. (2011). Colombia – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture. Culture Smart!. Kuperard. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-85733-549-1.
  31. ^ Woods, S. (2012). Bradt Colombia. Bradt Travel Guide Colombia. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-84162-364-1.
  32. ^ a b Greenspan, E. (2011). Frommer's Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Frommer's Complete Guides. Wiley. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-118-10032-5.
  33. ^ a b Burckhardt, A.L.; Germaine, E. (2004). Cooking the Australian Way. Easy Menu Ethnic Cookbooks 2nd Edition. Ebsco Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8225-1697-2.
  34. ^ Bellis, Mary. "History of Ice Cream". Inventors. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  35. ^ Story, Mary (Feb 2004). "Food Advertising and Marketing Directed at Children and Adolescents in the US". PMC. US National Library of Medicine. 1: 3. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-1-3. PMC 416565. PMID 15171786.
  36. ^ "About Food Network". Food Food Network. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  37. ^ Top desserts ordered in restaurants 2012. Technomic, Inc. September 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  38. ^ Goff, Corinne. "5 Easy To Make, Good for You Desserts". FitDay. Retrieved 23 October 2012.


  1. ^ See, for example, Shakespeare's use of "Twice-sod simplicity! Bis coctus!" in Love's Labour's Lost. (David Crystal; Ben Crystal (eds.). "Love's Labour's Lost". Shakespeare's Words. Penguin Books. Retrieved 2016-04-15.)

Further reading

  • Dodge, Abigail J.; et al. (2002). Dessert. Simon & Schuster Source. ISBN 0-7432-2643-7.
  • Mesnier, Roland (2004). Dessert University. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-2317-9.

Baklava (, , or ; [baːklavaː]) is a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the Levant, the Caucasus, Balkans, Maghreb, and of Central and West Asia.


A banana is an edible fruit – botanically a berry – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa. In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called "plantains", distinguishing them from dessert bananas. The fruit is variable in size, color, and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. Almost all modern edible seedless (parthenocarp) bananas come from two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The scientific names of most cultivated bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana, and Musa × paradisiaca for the hybrid Musa acuminata × M. balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific name Musa sapientum is no longer used.

Musa species are native to tropical Indomalaya and Australia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. They are grown in 135 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber, banana wine, and banana beer and as ornamental plants. The world's largest producers of bananas in 2017 were India and Tanzania, which together accounted for 24% of total production.Worldwide, there is no sharp distinction between "bananas" and "plantains". Especially in the Americas and Europe, "banana" usually refers to soft, sweet, dessert bananas, particularly those of the Cavendish group, which are the main exports from banana-growing countries. By contrast, Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called "plantains". In other regions, such as Southeast Asia, many more kinds of banana are grown and eaten, so the binary distinction is not useful and is not made in local languages.

The term "banana" is also used as the common name for the plants that produce the fruit. This can extend to other members of the genus Musa, such as the scarlet banana (Musa coccinea), the pink banana (Musa velutina), and the Fe'i bananas. It can also refer to members of the genus Ensete, such as the snow banana (Ensete glaucum) and the economically important false banana (Ensete ventricosum). Both genera are in the banana family, Musaceae.

Crème caramel

Crème caramel (French: [kʁɛm kaʁaˈmɛl]), flan, or caramel dessert is a custard dessert with a layer of clear caramel sauce, as opposed to crème brûlée which is custard with an added hard clear caramel layer on top.

Dessert wine

Pudding wines, sometimes called dessert wines, are sweet wines typically served with pudding.

There is no simple definition of a dessert wine. In the UK, a dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines (fino and amontillado sherry) drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines (port and madeira) drunk after it. Thus, most fortified wines are regarded as distinct from dessert wines, but some of the less strong fortified white wines, such as Pedro Ximénez sherry and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, are regarded as honorary dessert wines. In the United States, by contrast, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines - and is taxed more highly as a result. This dates back to a time when the US wine industry only made dessert wines by fortification, but such a classification is outdated now that modern yeast and viticulture can produce dry wines over 15% without fortification, yet German dessert wines can contain half that amount of alcohol.

Examples include Sauternes and Tokaji Aszú.

Frozen dessert

Frozen dessert is the generic name for desserts made by freezing liquids, semi-solids, and sometimes even solids. They may be based on flavored water (shave ice, ice pops, sorbet, snow cones, etc.), on fruit purées (such as sorbet), on milk and cream (most ice creams), on custard (frozen custard and some ice creams), on mousse (semifreddo), and others.

In Canada and elsewhere, the term is often used on imitations of ice cream which do not satisfy its legal definition (e.g., mellorine).In India some company brands like Hindustan Unilever were found selling frozen dessert made from vegetable oils rather than that made with pure milk. As per Indian regulations, ice cream which is made from milk solids, but contains non-dairy fat is categorized and labelled as frozen dessert in India.

Gelatin dessert

Jelly is a dessert made with a sweetened and flavored processed collagen product (gelatin). This kind of dessert is first recorded by Hannah Glasse in her 18th century book The Art of Cookery, appearing in a layer of trifle. Jelly is also featured in the best selling cookbooks of English food writers Eliza Acton and Isabella Beeton in the 19th century.

They can be made by combining plain gelatin with other ingredients or by using a premixed blend of gelatin with additives. Fully prepared jelly is sold in a variety of forms, ranging from large decorative shapes to individual serving cups.

Goody (dessert)

Goody or goodie is an Irish dessert-like dish made by boiling bread in milk with sugar and spices. It is often given to children or older adults. This dish is eaten on St. John's Eve. This dish is also prepared by parents to give to children when they have an upset stomach. Many children were given this during the 20th Century as a treat in neighbours' houses or after school as a snack before dinner. It has nowadays been modified to suit the modern taste, by using cocoa powder and chocolate drops to sweeten.


Halo-halo (literally translating to "mix-mix") is a popular Filipino cold dessert which is a concoction of crushed ice, evaporated milk and various ingredients including, among others, ube, sweetened beans, coconut julienes, sago, gulaman (seaweed gelatin), pinipig rice, boiled root crops in cubes, fruit slices, flan, and topped with a scoop of ice cream.


Kanafeh (Arabic: كُنافة‎, [kunaːfa] (listen), dialectal: [knɑːfej]) (also numerous alternate spellings) is a traditional Arab dessert made with thin noodle-like pastry, or alternatively fine semolina dough, soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and typically layered with cheese, or with other ingredients such as clotted cream or nuts, depending on the region. It is popular in the Arab world, particularly the Levant and Egypt, and especially in Palestine. In addition, variants are found in Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans, as well as in the Caucasus.

In Arabic, kanafeh (also knafeh, kunafa or similar spellings) may refer to the string pastry itself, or to the entire dessert dish. In Turkish, the string pastry is known as tel kadayıf, and the cheese-based dessert that uses it as künefe. In the Balkans, the shredded dough is similarly known as kadaif, and in Greece as kataifi, and is the basis of various dishes rolled or layered with it, including dessert pastries with nuts and sweet syrups.

One of the most well-known preparations of kanafeh is knafeh nabulsiyeh, which originated in the Palestinian city of Nablus, and is the most representative and iconic Palestinian dessert. Knafeh nabilsiyeh uses a white-brine cheese called Nabulsi. It is prepared in a large round shallow dish, the pastry is colored with orange food coloring, and sometimes topped with crushed pistachio nuts.

List of Indian sweets and desserts

This is a list of Indian sweets and desserts, also called mithai, a significant element in Indian cuisine. It spans the regions of Pakistan and Bangladesh as well, since both countries were parts of India before 1947. Many Indian desserts are fried foods made with sugar, milk or condensed milk. Ingredients and preferred types of dessert vary by region. In the eastern part of India, for example, most are based on milk products. Many are flavoured with almonds and pistachios, spiced with cardamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper, and decorated with nuts, or with gold or silver leaf.

List of dessert sauces

This is a list of dessert sauces. A dessert sauce is a sauce that serves to add flavor, moisture, texture and color to desserts. Dessert sauces may be cooked or uncooked.

List of desserts

A dessert is typically the sweet course that concludes a meal in the culture of many countries, particularly Western culture. The course usually consists of sweet foods, but may include other items. The word "dessert" originated from the French word desservir "to clear the table" and the negative of the Latin word servire.There are a wide variety of desserts in western cultures, including cakes, cookies, biscuits, gelatins, pastries, ice creams, pies, puddings, and candies. Fruit is also commonly found in dessert courses because of its natural sweetness. Many different cultures have their own variations of similar desserts around the world, such as in Russia, where many breakfast foods such as blini, oladyi, and syrniki can be served with honey and jam to make them popular as desserts.

List of puddings

This is a list of notable puddings. This list includes both sweet and savoury puddings that conform to one of two definitions:

A sweet or savoury dish consisting of various ingredients baked, steamed or boiled into a solid mass

A dessert consisting of sweetened milk thickened to a creamy consistency, either by cooking or the addition of starch or other thickening agent

Pavlova (cake)

Pavlova is a meringue-based cake named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside, usually topped with fruit and whipped cream. The name is pronounced , or like the name of the dancer, which was .The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years. In 2008, Helen Leach published The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand's Culinary History, in which she argued that the earliest known recipe was published in New Zealand. Later research by Andrew Wood and Annabelle Utrecht suggested the dessert originated in the United States and was based on an earlier Austrian dish, Spanische Windtorte.The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both Australia and New Zealand, and with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals. It is a dessert most identified with the summer time and popularly eaten during that period including at Christmas time; however, it is also eaten all year round in many Australian and New Zealand homes.


Pudding is a type of food that can be either a dessert or a savory (salty or spicy) non-sweet dish that is part of the main meal.The modern usage of the word pudding to denote primarily desserts has evolved over time from the originally almost exclusive use of the term to describe savory dishes, specifically those created using a process similar to that used for sausages, in which meat and other ingredients in mostly liquid form are encased and then steamed or boiled to set the contents. Black pudding, Yorkshire pudding, and haggis survive from this tradition.

In the United Kingdom and some of the Commonwealth countries, the word pudding can be used to describe both sweet and savory dishes. Unless qualified, however, the term in everyday usage typically denotes a dessert; in the United Kingdom, pudding is used as a synonym for a dessert course. Dessert puddings are rich, fairly homogeneous starch- or dairy-based desserts such as rice pudding, steamed cake mixtures such as treacle sponge pudding with or without the addition of ingredients such as dried fruits as in a Christmas pudding. Savory dishes include Yorkshire pudding, black pudding, suet pudding and steak and kidney pudding.

In the United States and some parts of Canada, pudding characteristically denotes a sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custards, instant custards or a mousse, often commercially set using cornstarch, gelatin or similar collagen agent such as the Jell‑O brand line of products.

In Commonwealth countries these puddings are known as custards (or curds) if they are egg-thickened, blancmange if starch-thickened, and jelly if gelatin based. Pudding may also refer to other dishes such as bread pudding and rice pudding, although typically these names derive from their origin as British dishes.

Rice pudding

Rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and other ingredients such as cinnamon and raisins. Variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener such as sugar. Such desserts are found on many continents, especially Asia where rice is a staple. Some variants are thickened only with the rice starch, others include eggs, making them a kind of custard.

Sandwich cookie

A sandwich cookie, also known as a sandwich biscuit, is a type of cookie consisting of two cookies between which is a filling. Many types of fillings are used, such as cream, ganache, buttercream, chocolate, cream cheese, jam, peanut butter, lemon curd or ice cream.


Sorbet is a frozen dessert made from sweetened water with flavoring (typically fruit juice or fruit purée, wine, liqueur, or very rarely, honey).


Soup is a primarily liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but may be cool or cold), that is made by combining ingredients of meat or vegetables with stock, or water. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth.

In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two main groups: clear soups and thick soups. The established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream. Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include egg, rice, lentils, flour, and grains; many popular soups also include pumpkin, carrots, and potatoes.

Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two; however, soups generally have more liquid (broth) than stews.

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