Dessert is the sweet course eaten at the end of a meal.
The term “dessert” can apply to many confections, such as cakes, tarts, cookies, biscuits, gelatins, pastries, ice creams, pies, puddings, custards, and sweet soups. Fruit is also commonly found in dessert courses because of its naturally occurring sweetness.
The word “dessert” originated from the French word desservir, meaning “to clear the table.”
Its first known use was in 1600, in a health education manual entitled Naturall and artificial Directions for Health, which was written by William Vaughan.
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.
The history of desserts is more than just a mere recounting of the first ice cream cone or the first time meringue was served. Sweets date back to ancient civilizations where people enjoyed fruits and nuts candied with honey. However, desserts as are commonly known today became popular through an evolution of technology and culinary experimentation.
Europeans began to manufacture sugar in the Middle Ages, and more sweet desserts became available. Even then sugar was so expensive usually only the wealthy could indulge on special occasions.
The Industrial Revolution in America and Europe 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.
Many cultures have different variations of dessert. In modern times the variations of desserts have usually been passed down or come from geographical regions.
Dessert consist of variations of flavors, textures, and appearances.
According to the food historians, the precursors of modern cakes (round ones with icing) were first baked in Europe sometime in the mid-17th century. This is due to primarily to advances in technology (more reliable ovens, manufacture/availability of food molds) and ingredient availability (refined sugar).
The cupcake evolved in the United States in the 19th century, and it was revolutionary because of the amount of time it saved in the kitchen. Cupcakes have become a pop culture trend today in the culinary world. According to Google, “cupcake recipes” are the fastest growing recipe search.
The Pilgrim fathers and early settlers brought their pie recipes with them to America, adapting to the ingredients and techniques available to them in the New World. Their first pies were based on berries and fruits pointed out to them by the Native North Americans. Over the years, pie has evolved to become what it is today “the most traditional American dessert”. Pie has become so much a part of American culture throughout the years, that a saying “as American as apple pie” is now commonly use.
The invention of culinary dishes can be complicated, and the brownie is no exception. Some myths state that a chef accidentally added melted chocolate to some biscuits, or was making cake but didn’t have enough flour; still others say that a housewife in Bangor, Maine, forgot to add baking powder to her chocolate cake. But most evidence points to one source: Chefs at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel, who created the tasty treat for the World Columbian Exposition of 1893.
Before 1886, the origin and history of fudge is unclear, but fudge is thought to be an American invention; In the late 17th century, fudge was a verb meaning ” “to fit together in a clumsy or underhand manner.” Then around 1800, the word was used to mean a hoax or cheat. By mid-century, the use of the term “Oh, fudge!” as a kid-friendly expletive had come into favor, and was often used when something had been messed up. It’s believed that the first batch of fudge was created when someone was trying to make caramels and “fudged” up. The name stuck.
Jell-O’s inventor hit upon the first successful gelatin dessert recipe in the course of his side work as a manufacturer of patent medicines like cough syrups and laxatives (he was a carpenter by trade). In 1897, LeRoy, New York resident Pearle B. Wait and his wife, May, added strawberry, raspberry, orange, and lemon flavoring — probably because they were already on hand from Pearle’s medicinal concoctions — and the original four flavors were born.
The chocolate chip cookie is the most popular kind of cookie in America. 7 billion chocolate chips are consumed annually in the United States. That equals over 19.2 million cookies a day.
The origin of the doughnut is unknown, though different nationalities have had their own version of the treat throughout history. A type of doughnut is even mentioned in the Bible. Specifically, Chapter 7 and verse 12 of Leviticus says that a thanksgiving to God should be made of “cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.”
There are approximately over 10 billion doughnuts made in the United States each year.
Ten people in the United States have the last name Doughnut or Donut. It’s unclear whether “Doughnut” was their given last name, or whether they changed it out of passion for the pastry. Meanwhile, 13 people have the first name “Donut.”
According to Nasa, ice cream is among the top three items most missed by astronauts on space flights. The others are pizza and fizzy drinks.
Ice cream testers use gold spoons to be able to taste the product 100% without a slight percentage of ‘after-taste’ from typical spoons.
McDonald’s offers wedding packages in Hong Kong and the wedding cake is made out of baked apple pies.
Shakespeare mentions pancakes in two of his plays – “All’s Well that Ends Well” and “As You Like It.”
German chocolate cake isn’t German. It’s named for Sam German, an American baker.
The most expensive ice cream and dessert is The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate ice cream sundae costing $25,000, which was added to the menu of the Serendipity 3 restaurant, New York, USA on 7 November 2007.
The most different desserts on display is 2,232 and was achieved by Dubai Shopping Festival in conjunction with the Emirates Culinary Guild (both UAE) at Uptown Mirdiff, Dubai, UAE, on 13 February 2009. A total of 2,232 different desserts from over 30 countries were prepared for the record attempt.