When it comes to food, one must balance the savory with the sweet ……and that is where desserts become a welcome addition at the end of a satisfying meal.
Desserts were first made using natural ingredients that were locally available. In ancient civilizations people enjoyed dried fruits, honeycomb, or nuts. These were considered the first candies. Even today, in these modern times, fruits are commonly found in dessert courses because of its naturally occurring sweetness.
When sugar began to be manufactured in the Middle Ages more sweet desserts became available. Even then sugar was so expensive usually only the wealthy could indulge on special occasions. Did you know that ice cream can can be dated back to 3000BC and may be considered to be the “dessert” in the modern sense of the word. The first apple pie recipe was printed in 1381. Also in 1740 the first cupcake recipes were recorded. Ice cream was a Chinese invention althoughMarco Poloe expanded the technique to Europe in his travels. By the 1800s recipes for how to make ice cream were very popular.
Another popular ingredient in most desserts happens to be vanilla which was mostly grown in Mexico where the local population discovered if the vanilla pod was picked and dried, then vanillian could be produced and in turn, it can be sweetened into a dessert on its own.
For the most part, desserts are constantly changing with the new techniques and ingredients available in a given geographic area. Desserts have changed from natural candies and nuts to the complex souffles and multi-layered cakes and can only be limited by a chef’s or a home cook’s imagination.