10 Penang Awards & Recognition That Prove We’re Living In The Best Place On Earth

10 Penang Awards & Recognition That Prove We’re Living In The Best Place On Earth

Nicholas Lim 21 hours ago 4 minutes read
Penang is also a well-known food paradise and a major tourist destination for its beautiful beaches , nature, and historical heritage. In 2008, its capital George Town, was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Penang also added several new tourist attractions, namely The Habitat on Penang Hill (a nature-based attraction); Design Village Penang outlet mall (the first outlet mall in the northern region), and The TOP at Komtar Penang featuring the Rainbow Skywalk, which is a viewing deck with glass floor. These attractions are making Penang even more attractive to visit now. Let’s check out 10 awards and recognition of Penang. Picture by zillieman (Instagram) 1. CNN listed Penang as No.2 Must Visit City in 2017 out of 17 cities in the world
Penang came in second after Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is only one of three locations in Asia on the list, which includes destinations in Thailand and China. The list was compiled after consultation with CNN experts from around the world about their favourite spots. The Pearl of the Orient was singled out for its cuisine, among other factors, and acknowledged as having one of Asia’s best street foods. – CNN Travel 2. The Culture Trip named Penang as one of the best 15 cities in the world for food in 2016 Picture by ellen_yulianita (Instagram)
As the capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia, George Town is home to some of the finest street food in the world, or hawker food as the locals call it. Many vendors use the same recipes that have been used for generations with hints of Chinese and Indian fusion . The most famous dish is called char koay teow , and it is made of flat rice noodles stir fried with prawns, cockles, scrambled egg, bean sprouts, strips of fish cake, and chilli paste. – The Culture Trip 3. Penang featured on Lonely Planet Street Art Book 2017 Picture by samsyeo (Instagram)
George Town has joined other famous street art capitals of the world to make it into the Lonely Planet book Street Art. The quaint street murals and colourful walls in the inner city of George Town, are bringing attention to this versatile city as one of the street art capitals of the world, alongside hotspots like New York, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Melbourne and San Francisco. The Street Art book , which covers 42 cities around the world, listed George Town as its only Asian destination. 4. Lonely Planet listed Penang as No.1 Food Destination in the world in 2014 Picture by juneythefoodie (Instagram)
Renowned travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has listed Penang as the top culinary spot for 2014. Lonely Planet’s commissioning editor Robin Barton said Penang was known for its hawker fare and the “must tries” were char kway teow, Hokkien mee , and laksa , according to the report . Picture by travelforfood57 (Instagram) 5. Los Angeles Times: Penang is one of the 16 Must Visit Destinations in the World in 2016 Picture by fahmieabubakar (Instagram)
George Town, Penang’s main city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a 500-year history of trading and a hotel boom in progress. With luck, this growth will leave intact the city’s most historic architecture and encourage its lively food scene. George Town was a British trading post from the early 19th century (hence its name) until Malaysian independence in 1957. It gives you British echoes, Malay essence, Chinese and Indian commercial traditions, scattered rickshaws and a stew of religions, cited from the website . 6. Forbes Ranked Penang as No.1 Budget Travel Destination in 2016 Picture by pleechern (Instagram)
For those who love to try new food but are on a budget, George Town, Penang is the place to go. The cuisine is a blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian specialities, and local hawker centers and street food stalls offer dozens of delicious options. Picture by zippyzipeng (Instagram)
Accommodation is cheap, with an abundance of budget-friendly hostels and Airbnbs . Additionally, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so when not eating you can spend hours walking around the city, visiting temples and taking in the beautiful colonial architecture and colourful street art, reported by Forbes . 7. The Guardian: George Town Has The World Best Street Art among the other top 15 cities in the world Picture by nicolina.es (Instagram) 8. Yahoo Travel: 10 Islands To Explore Before You Die
Yahoo Travel : Start your food crawl at stalls that crowd the streets of George Town, Penang’s largest city and Malaysia’s food capital. The delectable fare on offer memorably mingles Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, and European flavors. Foodie in search of supreme bliss should head to the marketplace Ayer Itam—adjacent to Kek Lok Si (the Temple of Supreme Bliss)—to dine on a variety of dishes based on rice, noodles, fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, vegetables, eggs, and coconut. Picture by clthelow (Instagram)
Look for lor bak (deep-fried marinated minced pork served with a chili sauce); lok-lok (skewered seafood, meats, and vegetables); and ikan bakar (grilled or barbecued fish marinated in spices and coconut milk, wrapped inside banana leaves, and grilled over hot coals). The same fusion of cultures is evident in the local architecture, which ranges from modern high-rises to buildings built by 19th-century British colonialists.
Add to the mix beach resorts, preserved mangroves, small fishing villages, and a share of temples, mosques, and churches. Kek Lok Si best exemplifies this coexistence. At seven stories, it’s the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, and it reflects the shared values of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism—designed with a Chinese octagonal base, a Thai-accented middle tier, and a Burmese-style peak. 9. CNN Travel: Asia’s Top 10 Greatest Street Food Cities Picture by etr_eattravelrelax (Instagram)
CNN Travel listed Penang is one of the world’s top eating destinations. Street food or hawker food is the city’s big draw. Penang hawker food reflects the multicultural makeup of the town, which has citizens of Chinese, Malay and Indian descent. Oh, this one is Penang Foodie most loved recognition! 10. International Living Penang as No.5 Best Country In The World for medical tourism (healthcare) in 2017
International Living : George Town is one of the two main medical centres in Malaysia. George Town and Kuala Lumpur are the main two medical centers in Malaysia, and both cities are serviced by a multitude of international airlines from around the world. Malaysia has some of the best-trained doctors in Asia–and the majority of them were trained in the U.S., Australia, or the UK. All of them speak English too, and that takes a lot of the stress away from what is already a stressful situation. Tags

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Nilgiri said: ↑ http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190208-how-carmakers-brought-new-cuisine-to-chennai
How carmakers brought new cuisine to Chennai
When carmakers built factories in Chennai, India, they brought cuisine that is changing the culinary landscape.
By Simrit Malhi 12 February 2019
A decade before America discovered sushi, a restaurant in a small southern India coastal city, served sashimi from local whole tuna. This small Japanese oasis, called Akasaka, sat behind a non-descript building on the hot, honking mess of one of Chennai’s most crowded traffic junctions.
Its private rooms and home-made barley teawere diametrically opposed to Chennai’s loud, too-busy-for-chairs ‘standing’ restaurants and fiery breakfasts of savoury doughnuts dunked in spicy lentil soup. Yet back in 1996, when it was one of the only stand-alone restaurants in the city, it was a runaway success.
“Sometimes there would be a line of people snaking out of the building’s gates onto the main road,” says Ran Takayama, who worked for the restaurant in its heyday. “It was very popular because of the high quality of its produce.”
Five years earlier, when Chennai was more of a town than a city, India had opened its market to allow foreign direct investment (FDI). Jayaram Jayalalithaa, then chief minister of the state of Tamil Nadu, came to power just as FDI was approved, and actively courted auto manufacturers.
Her efforts were rewarded. Mitsubishi, Nissan, Hyundai and Yamaha all set up factories outside Chennai. Hyundai particularly affected the city’s landscape, as 3,000 Korean employees arrived to work in the factory.
There are now approximately 10,000 expats in the city, most of them Asian . These days, the factories are all based within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) not far from the city.
‘It was always full’
The Sriperumbudur SEZ is located 50 kilometres outside Chennai, along what is now known as the Automotive Corridor. Signs in Korean start to dot the dusty highway. There are Korean supermarkets, Japanese hotels and even one manga book store, all air-conditioned havens in the middle of south India’s extreme heat.
There’s also Arirang, the first Korean restaurant in the city, which opened 20 years ago. Jo Sanghyun, a Korean expat in his 50s, has found success in India. He moved to Chennai as an employee of a Korean company in the 1990s, and stayed to follow his passion for food. Since Arirang, he has also opened several restaurants including running the in-house Hyundai canteen.
A Tamil Nadu-based Hyundai had a big impact on the Chennai’s landscape, as 3,000 Korean employees arrived to work in the factory (Credit: Alamy)
Jo’s Korean food, including the pork bossam (aromatic boiled pork) and duck bulgogi (grilled sweet-and-spicy duck), are full of loud flavours and textures. They are somewhat reminiscent of the piquant rasams (aromatic tomato broths) and red fish curries favoured in this part of the south. As locals took to his food, Jo became a culinary pioneer in the city.
“InSeoul was one of my early restaurants that really introduced Korean food to Indians,” he remembers. “It was in the center of the city and always full. Lots of Indians came there.”
As Tamil Nadu has grown to become one of the top 10 automobile hubs in the world, the effect of the influx from Northeast Asia on the ‘ Detroit of India ’ has surged, too.
Soju, a Korean spirit, is available in the state-designated alcohol shops, and K-Pop contests are now increasingly popular with the young. Kuuraku, a Japanese restaurant chain that specialises in yakitori (grilled chicken), just opened its first branch in the city.
About 50 restaurants serve Japanese or Korean food in Chennai, employing at least 1,000 local people. The Japanese outposts tend to be more upmarket, but there’s a lot of overlap: some Koreans run Japanese restaurants, and several places serve both cuisines.
There are still thousands of regional restaurants around the city serving local cuisine. (A spicy deep-fried chicken dish called Chicken 65 won Chennai a place on National Geographic’s list of top 10 foodiecities in 2015.) Yet Ameeta Agnihotri, a food critic for one of India’s leading newspapers and a local Chennaiite, thinks the new arrivals “have made a lasting impact on our culinary landscape”.
“Chennai is a small city in India, so people are always surprised to know how well informed we are about traditional Japanese and Korean food,” she says.
Fusion future?
Foreign chains like McDonalds have a hard time competitng with Chennai’s home-grown fast-food culture of steamed rice cakes and pancakes. But Korean and Japanese restaurants continue to flourish alongside native local cuisine, cementing the city’s foothold in India’s growing ‘foodie boom’.
“With the influx of returning expatriate Indians and visiting NRI [non-residents Indian] populations, Chennai’s food scene is growing very fast,” says Rati Shetty, a Chennai resident who is also the CPO of her own financial services company. “Now you can get tempura or sushi delivered to your desk in the office and bubble tea is available in most local teashops.”
“Most people have some miso paste, if not soya sauce, in their homes, available at the many Asian supermarkets in the city now. It is a sign of the market’s appetite, logistics and a more open and evolving society in terms of food and culinary expectations,” she says.
Korean and Japanese menus from New Seoul Hotels in Chennai (Credit: New Seoul Hotels)
There are even signs of a South Indian/East Asian fusion taste evolving: many of the Japanese restaurants that are owned and run by Indians tweak their food to make it more palatable for local people – a kind of spicy Japanese hybrid cusine.
There is less cross-over with Korean food. Jo says there are at least 20 Korean dining spots in Sriperumbudur known only to the Korean community. This is because many expats moved out of the city after the SEZ opened to take advantage of the apartment buildings and supermarkets that sprung up around it. Yet their staff are Indian – which means a growing body of local residents are well aware of Korean cuisine.
Girish and L.T. Lepsa met working at Jo’s Arirang in 1998. After decades in the business, the two friends started a Korean restaurant of their own, New Seoul Hotels, which is the city’s first owned solely by Indians. Girish started out as a waiter at Arirang, and Lepsa worked in the kitchen. But the businessmen who come to eat at New Seoul Hotels are from a very different socio-economic world.
After four years in business, the restaurant has a loyal Korean clientele and Indian customers are increasing. “They now make up at least 10% of all our customers and many of them are businessmen,” says Girish. “They are quite knowledgeable about Korean food and seem to have experience with the food from working with Koreans.”
In a nation where economic inequality is striking , that local residents from such different backgrounds come together over Korean food is a sign of the significant and evolving impact of Chennai’s car-making foreign residents.

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Eurasia Review Newsletter: Exercise Aman 2019: Understanding Peace – OpEd

By Ubaid Ahmed*
The great exponent of sea power, the American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan, who died in 1914, is still read with attention by political leaders and their military advisers today. “Control of the sea,” he wrote in 1890, “by maritime commerce and naval supremacy, means predominant influence in the world; because, however great the wealth product of the land, nothing facilitates the necessary exchanges as does the sea.”
The seas and oceans are the principal empowering agents to make Earth home to mankind. They spread 75% of its surface and their physical, compound and natural properties make the marine condition basic to the presence of life in our planet. As pointed out by the United Nations, ‘our water, drinking water, climate, atmosphere, coastlines, quite a bit of our nourishment, and even the oxygen noticeable all around we inhale, are for the most part regulated and provided by the sea.
The Indian Ocean is an important ocean of the world. It comprises nearly one fifth of the entire oceans of world. In the west of Indian Ocean there lies Africa and Arabian Peninsula, to the north lies the Indian sub-continent while to east lies Australia. Pakistan is one of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean and claims its due share in Indian Ocean. The security imperatives and economic opportunities compel Pakistan to secure its wider interests in the Indian Ocean.
Pakistan has always played a positive and contributory role in promoting of regional integration and maintenance of order and peace in the Indian Ocean with special focus on North Arabian Sea (NAS) which encompass Pakistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf.
The importance of 1000km long coastline of Pakistan that extends from Sir Creek to Jiwani towards Iran is undeniable in many ways. While aligning with the foreign policy and other regional and international obligations of Pakistan, PN over the decades had undertaken certain very bold and far reaching initiatives. Exercise AMAN is one such example. PN calendar of activities also contain engagements with regional and extra regional counterparts like Exercise NASEEM-AL-BAHR with Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), THAMAR-AL-THAYAB with Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) to name a few.
Notwithstanding Pakistan, has remained a very active and important member of Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP) under the ambit of CTF-150 operating in Gulf of Oman (GOO) and NAS from 2004 till early 2018. Pakistan also actively participated in Counter Piracy Deployment (CPD) under CTF-151 in Gulf of Aden (GOA) from 2009 till late 2017. In the aftermath of the US policy shift after coming into power of President Donald trump and to amicably discharge the international obligation to maintain order and peace at sea and to have a watchful eye for any illegal activity in NAS, PN has embarked on a Pakistan-led Regional Maritime Security Patrol (RMSP) since 2018. PN envisions a regional cooperation based on equality and sharing of information and maritime policing resources.
However to enhance global cooperation and interoperability of maritime forces and to project a soft yet firm image of Pakistan, PN initiated holding of multinational biennial Exercise AMAN in 2007. The seventh exercise of AMAN series, Exercise AMAN-2019 is taking place in Karachi started on 8th February 2019. A sizeable number of surface ships, air assets, Marines and Special Operation Forces (SOF) and observers from about 83 countries are participating in the exercise.
The exercise is divided into two phases; the harbour phase which includes among other things a dynamic show of maritime air, Marines and SOF elements of Pakistan Navy. The main highlight of harbour phase is a Fleet Review which will held be off Karachi harbour at Manora. Surface combatants, Marines/SOF and air assets of PN will participate in the Fleet Review.
The sea phase will comprise of combined maneuvers of participating forces in Arabian Sea aimed at enhancing interoperability and learning from each other experiences and good practices. The mega event will end with an impressive cultural show and food gala in which all the participating nations will showcase their national culture and cuisine.
Pakistan is hosting the event in order to prove her maritime capability and strength and contribution in maintaining the peace worldwide. Pakistan is a peace desirous country and does not have belligerent designs against any other nation state or country. Just like land borders, there are issues at sea which relate to territorial waters, contagious zones, exclusive economic zones and continental shelf and Pakistan is desirous to resolve them all with its neighbors in accordance with international law and expects others to reciprocate in the same spirit. Complete agreements and engagements are needed with all the stakeholders in the region and such maritime activities and naval engagements array Pakistan’s yearnings for regional and global peace.
*Ubaid Ahmed , Independent Researcher, Islamabad. Can be reached at [email protected]

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Market Cafe Opens in New Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit

vacuuivi Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit , market cafe Market Cafe Opens in New Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit
A contemporary new Bangkok hotel scoured the markets of traditional Thailand and emerged with the decor and a philosophical approach for the all new Market Café.
The new restaurant in the just-opened Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit draws on the Nana area of Bangkok’s history as an international trading and meeting center, and features a menu of real Thai cooking with bold spices and vibrant flavours, crafted by chefs who are well-versed in truly local cuisine.
“We wanted to work with chefs who were familiar with Thai food as served to Thai people,” explained Frederik Farina, Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage at the hotel. “We wanted our guests to experience true Thai flavours, rather than tourist- tailored versions of dishes.”
Although Italian by birth Farina is fluent in Thai and familiar with the Bangkok food scene, having lived more than a decade in the city. His team consists of chefs who have worked at Thai restaurants, and even popular food stalls, around the country.
The all-day dining spot opens with a breakfast buffet that reflects the melting pot of cuisine that surrounds the hotel. Popular Thai dishes such as noodles, Khao Niew Moo Ping (grilled pork with sticky rice) and northern Thai sausage are served live from the kitchen. Japanese curry, miso soup and grilled fish as well as a tasty Indian spread with dishes such as sambar, aloo paratha, naan and crunchy samosas, sits alongside such western favourites as made to order eggs or fluffy pancakes, fresh baked goods, cereals, noodle dishes, and a huge array of tropical fruit that can be whipped into a smoothie. Gluten free pastries are also available.
The lunch and dinner Thai menu cover all levels of the local culinary scene with a range of dishes from comfort foods such as Phad Kra Pao, a stir-fried meat or tofu dish with spicy basil that is a popular street food snack, to more traditional dishes distinct to specific regions like Tom Som Pla Kaphong, a sour sea bass soup seasoned with tamarind, ginger, spring onions, and shrimp paste. Signature dishes include steamed sea bass with lime, garlic and chili; spicy tiger prawn salad with lemongrass and chili paste; and caramelized spicy chicken wings.
To stay true to Thai flavours they do not adjust the spice level for more sensitive palettes but do serve typical Thai side dishes, such as fresh vegetables, to provide balance to the meal. They also cater to vegetarians with the ability to adjust dishes for dietary requirements.
The restaurant’s interior evokes a marketplace. Huge floor-to-ceiling panels of a floating market scene drawn in traditional Thai style are visible as you enter the space while long- established Thai objects from everyday life are used to decorate the restaurant. The wooden rabbits that adorn prominent shelving are an age-old tool used for grating coconuts, and are still used in some provinces today. Other household items like copper pots and vases, were picked up from markets around Thailand, as was the odd antique hidden among other everyday articles.
“Handmade local items were important to us. Even the bowls we use in the restaurant were custom made from craftsmen in Chiang Mai,” explained Niwat Aunprueng, Senior Executive Partner of PIA, the Bangkok based firm behind the interior design.
Market Café is open daily from 6am – 10:30pm (last order at 10pm) and can accommodate up to 158 guests, including an outdoor terrace for eight and two private rooms for 20 and 24.
Opening Special for Valentine’s Day
On Valentine’s Day Market Café is inspiring romance with a four-course seafood dinner. The set menu covers an array of delicacies from oysters to Hokkaido scallops on truffle mash potato. Dessert is a strawberry cheesecake and a bottle of wine is included in the THB 4,000 ++ price tag for two.

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Flavourful dishes inspired by Canada’s new food guide that you can cook in your Instant Pot

Canada’s new food guide came out last month and it wasn’t anything too shocking: eat more greens, cool it on the meat, use less salt, and (surprise), drinking juice is not the same as eating a piece of fruit. Most of us already know which foods are nutritious, but keeping meals exciting while avoiding the grain bowl slump can be a challenge. Luckily, there are cuisines around the world that already excel at using spices to maximize flavours without relying on salt, do wonderful things with meatless proteins, and make the most of natural sugars in vegetables to make them really pop. Best of all, these hearty and comforting dishes are perfect for this bitterly cold winter, and will make enough for a small group to stay inside all weekend. We even included a stew and brown rice recipe for the Instant Pot lovers.
Instant Pot Oxtail and Vegetable Stew
For the stew
A salad or smoothie isn’t the only way to incorporate more vegetables into a diet. During winter, slow-cooking hearty root vegetables and tough greens is a great way to make them more mellow for those who don’t always like the bitter flavours of leafy greens or find certain veggies too hard. This dish takes inspiration from Caribbean cooking, which often slow-cooks greens with lots of aromatics to infuse flavour and tenderize the leaves. Oxtail is also a common ingredient in Caribbean cooking and while it releases a lot of fat when cooked, it can be skimmed off just before serving, or better yet, refrigerate the stew overnight so that the fat rises to the top and solidifies, making it easy to spoon out.
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable or canola oil
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 finely minced garlic cloves
8 sprigs thyme, stems removed
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) each freshly ground black pepper, allspice and kosher salt
3 lbs oxtail
900 mL no salt-added beef broth
1/4 cup (60 mL) tomato paste
1 tbsp (15 mL) mild curry powder
1 minced scotch bonnet pepper
2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
3 medium-sized carrots, cut into 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) coins
1 large bunch collards, stems removed and leaves roughly torn
Add oil, onions, garlic, thyme, ginger, black pepper, salt and allspice into cooking chamber. Turn on Saute function and cook onions until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add oxtail and cook until browned all over, about 10 to 15 minutes. If pot is too small, brown oxtail in batches. Turn off Instant Pot. Transfer oxtail and onions to a bowl and set aside.
Stir in broth, tomato paste, curry powder and scotch bonnet pepper to cooking chamber. Using a wooden spoon, scrape off browned bits from bottom of pot. Stir in bell peppers, carrots and collards. Return oxtail and onions back to cooking chamber. Place lid on top, flipping toggle to sealing mode and cook on Manual setting on High Pressure for 30 minutes. Allow for Natural Pressure Release. Using a spoon, skim off top layer of fat if desired. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Transfer to a serving pot and serve immediately.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Instant Pot Jamaican-Style Brown Rice and Beans
As someone who grew up eating white rice and tons of it, I had a hard time incorporating brown rice into my diet because I found that its strong nutty flavour and crunchy texture overwhelms delicate dishes such as steamed fish or tofu. But the bold flavours of Jamaican cooking—ginger, coconut milk, scotch bonnet peppers, allspice and garlic—do a great job complimenting the nutty flavour. I prefer brown rice cooked on the softer side so I use a longer cooking time and more liquid, but if you prefer a chewier texture, set the Instant Pot for 20 minutes.
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable or canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp (5 mL) minced fresh ginger
3 sprigs thyme, stems removed
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each ground allspice and kosher salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut milk
2 cups (500 mL) no salt-added chicken broth
1 minced scotch bonnet pepper
1 (250 mL) cup each brown rice and canned red beans, rinsed
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Using Saute function in Instant Pot, heat oil in cooking chamber. Saute onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, allspice and salt. Continue to cook until fragrant and onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, broth and scotch bonnet pepper. Stir in rice and beans. Replace lid and set toggle to sealing mode. Cook on Manual setting on High Pressure for 25 minutes. Allow for Natural Pressure Release. Stir rice and beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
French Lentils With Braised Kale and Pancetta
Incorporating more plant-based proteins doesn’t mean you have to completely stop eating meat. Using pancetta sparingly in this dish gives everything a nice salty bite (and satisfies that carnivorous craving). Just as the food guide recommends a balance in proteins, vegetables and grains, a dish needs a balance of flavours. A light lemon-mustard dressing adds a bright acidity to counter-act the earthiness of the lentils and vegetables. Serve this as is, or with a slice or two of whole grain bread. If you cannot find French (also called Puy) lentils, use brown lentils instead.
3 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) diced pancetta
1 leek, white and light green parts, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
8 large button mushrooms, sliced
1 large bunch kale, stems removed and leaves roughly torn
1 cup (250 mL) French lentils or brown lentils, rinsed
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) no salt-added chicken broth
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon
Black pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, add oil, garlic and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Heat oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add leek, parsnip, shallots and mushrooms. Stir, allowing vegetables to soften and water to cook out of mushrooms, about 10 minutes. Add kale and stir, allowing kale to tenderize and wilt, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside.
In same skillet, add lentils, chicken broth and remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Stir. Cover. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat down to medium-low and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Stir cooked lentils into vegetable mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, Dijon and black pepper. Toss dressing with lentils, a tablespoon at a time, to taste.
Serve warm.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Okra, Eggplant and Chickpea Curry
The new food guide emphasizes reducing the daily sodium intake. To add flavour without going heavy on the salt, look to Indian cooking, which over centuries has perfected the use of warm, hot and aromatic spices and herbs that make every meal a standout. This curry is a combination of classic okra and eggplant curries, as well as the popular chickpea curry known as chana masala.
1 tsp (5 mL) each whole cumin and coriander seeds
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each whole black peppercorns and fennel seeds
3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetable or canola oil
4 finely minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp (2 mL) kosher salt
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb okra, stems trimmed and sliced in half on a bias
2 large Chinese eggplants, cut into thick slices
2 tsp (10 mL) each ground turmeric and garam masala
1 Thai chili, seeds removed and minced
1-19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2-28 oz (796 mL) cans diced tomatoes
Plain yogurt, for garnish (optional)
Warm naan, for serving
In a small pan over medium-low heat, roast cumin, coriander, peppercorn and fennel seeds until fragrant, careful not to burn and tossing pan constantly, about 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and grind finely using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Set aside.
In a large skillet, add 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil, garlic, ginger, salt and shallots. Turn heat up to medium-high. Add okra. Sauté until okra has softened and browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer everything to a large pot.
Using same skillet, add remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Turn heat up to medium. Sear eggplant until softened and browned on both sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to pot containing okra.
Stir in turmeric, garam masala, chili pepper, chickpeas and tomatoes. Bring to a boil over to medium-high heat. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally and careful not to break up okra. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes, or until curry has thickened to desired consistency.
Serve immediately with a dollop of yogurt on top, if using, and naan.
Karon Liu is the Star’s food writer and is based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @karonliu
Karon Liu is the Star’s food writer and is based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @karonliu

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VP Venkaiah Naidu likely to visit Paraguay, Costa Rica next month, dates to be announced soon

VP Venkaiah Naidu likely to visit Paraguay, Costa Rica next month, dates to be announced soon By: Huma Siddiqui | Updated: February 11, 2019 10:05 PM During talks with the President of landlocked Paraguay, the focus will be on energy and food security needs of our region, enhanced connectivity and trade and investment facilitation that builds on the complementarities in of both sides. In Paraguay, when Naidu meets with Paraguayan President Abdo Benítez, the focus of talks will be on expediting the negotiations for the expansion of the India-MERCOSUR Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), which is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy of expanding India’s trade basket.
India is showing renewed interest in the Latin American region with two key heads of state – President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu – expected to visit a few countries in the region next month. Both the visits are being seen as significant though belated as these come at the end of the Modi government’s tenure. These visits are efforts to step up political engagement and increase trade and investment in the region.
Speaking to the Financial Express Online on condition of anonymity, a senior officer said that, “The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is expected to visit Paraguay and Central American nation Costa Rica early March. Dates are in the process of being confirmed.”
While there have been several visits in the region at the ministerial level in recent times, these two visits will be back to back covering countries like Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Costa Rica.
According the officer quoted above, during the visit to the region, the Vice President will be accompanied by a high level business and official delegation, and the talks with leaders of both will focus on increasing trade and investments in various sectors as well as addressing Diaspora in these countries.
The Central American nation Costa Rica tops the Happy Planet Index, and is known to use a quarter of the resources it has. It is also the only country in the world which has no Army.
The Costa Rican President, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, had recently said at Davos 2019: “Seventy years ago, Costa Rica did away with the army. Eight per cent of our GDP is invested in education because we don’t have to spend on the army. So our strength is human talent, human well-being.”
A senior officer of Costa Rica in an earlier interaction had said that “With the global competitive scenario changing, and the emerging economies, including India are increasingly contributing to the expansion of trade and investment flows, opening new opportunities for countries worldwide. There are lot of opportunities to work together with India in the renewable energy sector, tourism.”
According to reports, Costa Rica generates more than 99% of its electricity from renewable sources. The country over the last few years has been exploring new opportunities with India in an effort to deepen and strengthen relations.
“Both countries are in the process of negotiating an agreement to promote investment and bilateral business relations. There have been discussions between the Ministry of foreign trade of Costa Rica and the Ministry of Commerce and the industry of India in an effort for an early conclusion of an Agreement for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments and Framework Agreement to Promote Economic Cooperation between both countries,” said the officer quoted above.
There is a great potential for strategic alliances between Costa Rica and India in the area of business processing services, agro products, knowledge processing operations, digital animation and software development sectors, among others. There are also opportunities in mining sector for minerals and Gold and Zinc Mines.
Sources said that India can focus on expanding business relations with Costa Rica. Made-in-India motorcycle is already exported to Costa Rica and Indian company Havells Sylvania has a factory in San Jose.
In fact, the credit for making Costa Rica as the America Headquarters for Havells Sylvania goes to company’s former director of America, Kapil Gulati in 2010. After quitting the company Gulati has made Costa Rica his home and has been organising regular Yoga sessions and Indian classical dance sessions, in addition to Indian cuisine cooking classes at his restaurant chain ‘Taj Mahal’.
In Paraguay, when Naidu meets with Paraguayan President Abdo Benítez, the focus of talks will be on expediting the negotiations for the expansion of the India-MERCOSUR Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), which is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ’s strategy of expanding India’s trade basket.
As has been reported by The Financial Express Online earlier, the countries that are part of the India-MERCOSUR (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) PTA have been in discussions to increase the tariff lines in order to boost the trade volumes. The expansion of the agreement will enhance trade relations between the countries involved, and the trade volume target is set at $30 billion in 2030. However, due to differences amongst the members of the groupings, the expansion of the India-MERCOSUR PTA is getting delayed.
In fact the Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu has been keen about expanding trade ties with the countries in the region has reached out personally to some of the leaders of the group requesting them to fast track the expansion talks.
Both sides have already exchanged lists of items where each side is seeking greater market — India has exchanged a wish list of 4,836 tariff lines mentioning 8-digit HS codes with MERCOSUR in July 2016 and the MERCOSUR grouping has exchanged their wish list of 3,358 tariff lines.
During talks with the President of landlocked Paraguay, the focus will be on energy and food security needs of our region, enhanced connectivity and trade and investment facilitation that builds on the complementarities in of both sides.
Today, India imports Soybean oil and its fractions, Sunflower-seed, safflower or cotton-seed oil and Fixed vegetable fats and oils from Paraguay which is nearly $- 253 million in 2017. There are lots of opportunities in Paraguay market for Indian Companies in Agriculture, fertilizers, agriculture equipment, Pharmaceutical drugs (Generic medicine), and Indian Textile industries. The South American country is a good producer of Cotton.
In traditionally isolated and under populated Paraguay, food, beverages, and tobacco sub-sector has been the core manufacturing activity, followed by textiles, clothing, leather, and shoes comprised the third largest manufacturing sub sector. These industries are traditional, grounded in the nation’s abundance of inputs like cotton fibers, cattle hides, and tannin extract. The sub sector accounted for about 10 percent of all manufacturing.

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DS Group hopes to ‘Catch’ up on growth with strategic plan

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FMCG company DS Group expects its flagship food brand — Catch — to close this fiscal with a strong double-digit revenue growth, after witnessing a slow growth trajectory for the past two years. The company is also extending the brand to value-added categories such as spice grinders and pastes.
The company expects Catch, which is among the leading packaged spices player in the country, to cross the ₹600-crore-mark in terms of sales by the end of the current fiscal, recording a growth of about 20 per cent. Sources said the company had even hired consultancy firm Accenture to draw up a strategic plan, which is now in place, to get the brand back to a faster growth trajectory.
Shashank Surana, Vice-President, New Product Development, DS Group said, “The packaged spices market did not grow substantially in the past two years, due to the implementation of the GST, demonetisation and rising competition with the entry of new players. We were also in the process of consolidating our distribution and expanding our product portfolio during this period. However, this fiscal, we hope to see double-digit growth in the range of 18-20 per cent for the brand.” Regional focus
The company has now revamped its distribution as well. “We decided to consolidate and revamp our distribution structure in the Southern market. Instead of spreading ourselves too thin, we are now focussing on deepening the market penetration of the brand in concentrated pockets in the Southern region,” he added.
At the same time, in the Northern and Eastern region, the company is expanding the brand’s presence in rural areas and adding smaller SKUs.
Talking about the strategy to expand the brand to the spice grinders segment, Surana said: “Indian consumers are now exposed to global cuisines, and are looking for freshly-ground spices. They also want to experiment with exotic and fusion spices.” The company has launched a range of Catch grinders with ceramic heads in select stores in the key metros. The range includes black pepper, pink rock salt, Italian seasoning, and crystal rock salt.
“In the next three years, we want to grab a share of about 20 per cent in the grinders market.” he added. The spice grinders segment is currently pegged at about ₹200 crore.
Surana said that the brand is also being extended to the pastes format with ginger garlic pastes, as the company believes it’s the right time to get into this niche category, which is poised to see rapid growth. These products are currently in the test-pilot phase. Published on

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Get Ready For Trinidad Carnival – It’s Almost Time for Hyatt LIME 2019

Get Ready For Trinidad Carnival – It’s Almost Time for Hyatt LIME 2019
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The 9 th Annual LIME Fete hosted by Hyatt Regency Trinidad is one of the most highly anticipated events during Carnival season on February 27, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Locals and visitors from around the world take part in dancing, enjoying delicious food and ultra-premium drinks while experiencing the country’s leading performers all night long. Confirmed artists are Kes the Band, Olatunji and Karma, with more to be confirmed.
Event-goers are asked to wear white with a “touch of lime” to match the event theme and décor. (file photo) LIME Fete 2018
This not-to-be missed, all-inclusive event coordinated by the hotel is the premier event of the year with high-end décor, celebrity guests and stunning views along the scenic waterfront of Hyatt Regency Trinidad.
The Platinum ticket selections tempt the taste buds of every party-goer with options such as slow-roasted meats, authentic Indian cuisine, Far Eastern plates, vegetarian dishes and local authentic island fare.
Diamond tickets include sushi and lobster, prime beef, caviar, seafood bar and an extensive dessert buffet as well as the finest wines, whiskies and champagnes.
A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to a deserving non-profit organization. Past recipients have been Rainbow Rescue Home for Boys, Amica House for Girls, The Heroes Foundation and many more.
Guests wishing to buy tickets can do so here or at the hotel with the option to purchase Platinum (US $325) or Diamond (US $575) admission.
The event is will call only – no physical tickets are issued. Ticket distribution starts on Feb. 20, 2019.
Hyatt Regency Trinidad’s guestrooms are sold out. Parking is free and available at the hotel as well as other designated locations. Event is rain or shine.
Hyatt Regency Trinidad is located at #1 Wrightson Road Port of Spain, and LIME 2019 will take place along the waterfront area. ADVERTISEMENT

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The 10 best wellness destinations around the world

We live in a society that constantly asks us to do more and do it faster, so it makes sense that the demand for me-time and relaxing holidays far away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities is on the increase. Indeed, the necessity of dedicating time to our mental health and physical wellness is now part of the general knowledge. According to a study by the Global Wellness Institute , world travellers made 691 million wellness trips in 2015, 104.4 million more than in 2013 – and it is a community of escapers and ‘digital detox’ seekers that is in full expansion. You are probably already thinking about next summer, dreaming of the sandy beaches in Ibiza , a sun-soaked resort in Crete or the dreamy French Riviera . However, it’s never too late to battle the winter blues.
With this in mind, we have penned a guide to help you choose the perfect location for you. You are welcome.
Bali, Indonesia
Probably the most instagrammed place on earth, Bali is every blogger’s favourite spot. The island, though, was gorgeous way before Instagram and definitely doesn’t need any filters. Join the army of digital nomads based in this tropical paradise, from yoga classes at sunrise to raw vegan treats – you will never be the same again.
• Where to stay: Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas & Spa , Ubud (from £143)
• What to do: Ubud Yoga House
• Where to eat: Moksa Plant-based Cuisine & Permaculture Garden , Ubud
Rishikesh, India
India has always been a place where people go to find themselves. If you need a break from your ordinary life, Rishikesh is the right place to get lost. This holy city is tucked in the heart of the Himalayas, cherished by the local hindu community and renowned for its yoga and meditation retreats. Essentially, it is the perfect place to reconnect with yourself.
• Where to stay: Aloha On The Ganges by Leisure Hotels (from £68)
• What to do: Yoganga Healing Retreat
• Where to eat: Ramana’s Organic Cafe
Sedona, Arizona, U.S.
An oasis located in the middle of Arizona desert, surrounded by an incredible 1.8 million acres of national forest land, Sedona is what roadtrippers dream of. If your idea of recharging your batteries includes hiking, biking and sleeping under an amazingly starry night sky, you need to visit this American gem.
• Where to stay: Kimpton Amara Resort & Spa (from £213)
• What to do: Sedona Soul SPA
• Where to eat: Indian Gardens Cafe & Market
Hepburn Springs, Australia
Finding Hepburn Springs in this list should come as no surprise. This well known spa town, in the state of Victoria, is located in the middle of Australia’s largest concentration of mineral springs, and has plenty of relaxing treatments on offer.
• Where to stay: Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat (from £143)
• What to do: Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve
• Where to eat: The Surly Goat
Ko Samui, Thailand
A gorgeous island definitely worth exploring, Ko Samui hides some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see. Visit the Buddhist temple, Ang Thong National Marine Park’s secluded lagoons or just chill in one of the amazing Spas that populate the island. The perfect place to switch off.
• Where to stay: Santiburi Koh Samui (from £425. Price is based on a family of four, sharing a Duplex Two Bedroom Suite, with breakfast.)
• What to do: Tamarind Springs Forest Spa
• Where to eat: Supattra Thai Dining
Costa Rica
If reconnecting with nature is at the top of your list, you will fall in love with the incredible biodiversity that characterises this South American country. After a trek in the jungle or a walk on a sandy beach, head for a well deserved massage, taking in the beauty all around.
• Where to stay: Nayara Springs (from £408)
• What to do: Tabacon Hot Springs
• Where to eat: Organico Fortuna
Goa, India
Goa is the place to go if you want a fun yet relaxing holiday. The incredible golden sand beaches attract every type of tourist, from the party animal to the foodie or the yoga aficionado. Everything is possible in this costal paradise.
• Where to stay: Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa (from £113)
• What to do: Rita’s Gourmet Goa
• Where to eat: Zest
Zermatt, Switzerland
If you thought that relax only rhymed with beaches, think again. As a sky town in the south of Switzerland, Zermatt is not all hiking and climbing. A luxurious chalet is waiting for you at the bottom of the mountain, where a comforting vin chaud and a well-deserved massage will bring your muscles back to life. Perfection.
• Where to stay: The Omnia (from £240)
• What to do: The Matterhorn
• Where to eat: Restaurant Chez Vrony
Maldives
Anywhere is the Maldives would be like being in heaven on earth – but what about a private island in the Maldives? We thought so. Perfectly white sandy beaches, crystal clear lagoons and jaw-dropping reefs will be your everyday surroundings at Velaa Private Islan, this place is so beautiful and relaxing that you won’t want to take that flight back home.
• Where to stay: Velaa Private Island (from £3,118)
• What to do: Duniye Spa
• Where to eat: Just Veg by Atmosphere
Ibiza, Spain
Your next weekend of full relaxation could be just a couple of hours away from home. If Ibiza makes you think about tequila shots and wild parties, get ready to be surprised. The Spanish island – with its amazing coast and delicious food – is one of biggest yoga hubs in Europe. If you are not into yoga, you can still enjoy the incredible Mediterranean sea and get pampered at one of the many resorts around this Balearic paradise.
• Where to stay: Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay (from £550 per night, based on double occupancy.)
• What to do: Yoga Pilates Ibiza
• Where to eat: La Mesa Escondida
Pictures: TripAdvisor/Getty/Provided

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50 of the world’s best desserts

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Imagine the best dessert on Earth. Better yet, turn to a stranger on the street and ask them. Odds are good — dollars to doughnuts — their answer is different from yours. From childhood treats to a grandparent’s favorite recipes, beloved foods are deeply personal. This seems especially true of desserts, which often take pride of place at celebrations and traditional holidays.
For all the nostalgia of sugary treats, though, some sweets rise above local flavors. Head to any country to find tender slices of Italian tiramisú at the bottom of cafe menus or sniff out the creamy scent of Hong Kong’s dan tats in cities around the globe. In the unofficial elections of the stomach, both have been voted to a permanent place in the world’s food hall of fame.
And like dan tats, many of these recipes aren’t desserts at all — the eggy tart is more often eaten as an afternoon snack. The idea of serving a sweet at the end of a coursed meal is relatively recent, and in some destinations , including Africa and Asia, desserts are a foreign import. Related Story ‘Shame, shame, shame!’: Bakers furious over missing tips on Hershey’s Kisses
But with food, like language or culture, determining what’s “foreign” turns out to be complicated. Tiramisu relies on chocolate, coffee and sugar that arrived in Italy through global trade, while Hong Kong’s most iconic sweet has roots in the Portuguese age of exploration.
Like the best desserts, then, this list blends the personal with something more broadly appealing. It’s the fruit of my nine years in the pastry kitchen, when I traveled to explore new-to-me flavors everywhere from Liguria, Italy, to Yucatan, Mexico, and conversations with chefs whose resumes are as global as the recipes themselves.
Bangkok-born Pichet Ong, a celebrated pastry chef known for blending Asian and European ingredients, told me how sweets from Singapore and Thailand tell the stories of Asian migration and international trade. Baker and illustrator Johanna Kindvall , who divides her time between Brooklyn and Sweden, shared a recipe for cardamom buns.
In emails sent from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Syrian-Lebanese cookbook author Anissa Helou recalled favorite sweets that grace tables in Morocco, Iran and the Levant.
In alphabetical order, here’s a list of some of the greatest sweets on the planet, from humble chocolate chip cookies to the crisp tang of kashata, a beloved brittle that’s enjoyed across East Africa. Bon appétit — or as they’d say in Swahili, karibu chakula! Alfajores, South America
Step into a neighborhood bakery from Argentina to Peru, and you’re likely to find these tender, filled cookies piled high behind the counter. The crumbly bite of shortbread gives way to a sweet layer of dulce de leche, a caramel-like candy made by gently cooking sweetened milk until it turns into a rich, mellow treat. Related Story Carla’s Tasty Feature: Effervescence
The very simplicity of the cookies has proved to be the perfect base for creative cooks across Latin America. Try versions that are dunked in dark chocolate, coated in a sweet layer of white chocolate, rolled in coconut and dressed up with spices, or opt for the classic — it’s among the world’s most comforting snacks. Apfelstrudel, Austria
For a floury lesson in gluten’s architectural wonders, whip up a batch of traditional strudel dough. The real thing is stretched — not rolled — into an improbably thin sheet; according to legend, it should be transparent enough to read a newspaper through.
Once extended, the delicate dough is wrapped around a sweet, apple filling that’s enriched with buttery fried breadcrumbs, raisins and sometimes walnuts. The delicious result can be found in pastry shops around the world, but for the classic experience, head to Vienna’s Café Korb for a slice followed by a lush cup of cream-topped Viennese coffee. Baklava, Turkey
Dozens of delicate layers melt into a single tender bite in this syrupy confection, which is among the sweetest legacies of the Ottoman Empire. While it remains a sought-after treat through the Levant, Balkans, the Caucasus and North Africa — regions that were once ruled from Constantinople — the spiritual home of baklava is surely the modern-day country of Turkey.
There, pastry shops serve great trays sliced into diamonds, filled with ground nuts and dripping with honeyed syrup. This is just the most famous of the Ottoman Empire’s syrup-soaked pastries, but it’s snagged the limelight for good reason. With a simple list of ingredients and endless variations, it easily ranks among the world’s most tempting treats. Black Forest Cake, Germany
Along with fairy tales and mountain-top castles, Germany’s Black Forest region is known as the namesake — if not the origin — of the country’s most luscious cake. Dark rounds of chocolate cake are doused in a cherry syrup spiked with kirschwasser, a sour cherry brandy, then stacked atop a thin, chocolate base with deep layers of whipped cream and fresh cherries.
If that wasn’t flavor enough, the whole thing is swathed in more cream, dusted with shaved chocolate and studded with cherries. The resulting cake is a frothy dream dessert that’s the star of pastry cases around Germany, where it’s known as a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. Borma, Middle East and Turkey
Threads of crisp, golden knafeh dough wrap around a rich nut filling in this sweet dessert, which is an elegant and aromatic relative of baklava. Unlike baklava, borma is often fried, adding an extra infusion of flavor and a crisp texture that stands up to a sugary bath in flavored syrup. Related Story Olive Garden offering breadstick bouquet for Valentine’s Day
And while baklava hides its filling inside a modest layer of filo dough, borma is rolled and sliced, showing off a cross-section of colorful pistachios, pale pine nuts or walnuts. That eye-catching presentation makes borma especially popular as a present. Pastry shops across the Middle East and Turkey tempt passers-by with piles of borma stacked high on enormous platters. Brownies, United States
Fudgy or cakey? Corner piece or slice from the middle? Aficionados of this beloved American sweet are sure to have a take on the best — and worst — way to make a brownie. One of the earliest recipes appeared in Fannie Farmer’s 1906 “Boston Cooking School Cook Book,” using the unsweetened chocolate that lends brownies a fudgy texture.
In more than a century of brownie making, they’ve become a mainstay treat, the base for sundaes and a seriously addictive ice cream flavor.
Even the actress Katharine Hepburn had an opinion on how to bake them, and an old story holds that the glamorous star once dispensed the following advice: “Never quit, be yourself and don’t put too much flour in your brownies.” Cannoli, Sicily
A shattering-crisp shell gives way to a creamy cheese filling in this Sicilian classic, whose roots reach deep into the island’s diverse culinary history. With origins at the wild Carnival celebrations at Palermo, the traditional cannolo is filled with silky-smooth ricotta cheese made from sheep’s milk.
Taste that rich filling for evidence of the Arab influence that infuses Sicilian cuisine: The candied citrus that often flavors the creamy interior remains beloved throughout the Middle East. Cardamom Buns, Sweden
October 4 might be Cinnamon Bun Day on the Swedish calendar, but many bun aficionados insist that the aromatic cardamom version outshines cinnamon’s more assertive charms. One of a family of vetebullar, or wheat buns, cardamom buns are best enjoyed as a part of fika, the coffee break that comes twice daily in many Swedish workplaces.
While a freshly baked cardamom bun is a memorable treat, it’s also a simple and comforting one. In a classic recipe from author Johanna Kindvall , crushed cardamom seeds are stirred into lightly enriched, yeasted dough, then rolled up with a sweet layer of sugar and spice.
For the perfect fika, whip up a batch of cardamom buns, brew some strong coffee and call a friend, since the iconic Swedish coffee break is as much about talking as it is about treats. Cendol, Singapore
On sweltering afternoons in Singapore, locals cool off with this chilled and silky sweet, which is a favorite at seaside restaurants and sidewalk stands. Iced coconut milk is sweetened with a palm sugar syrup, which lends it a lightly smoky, caramelized flavor.
The rich liquid is a lush base for tender threads of green rice-flour jelly, which gets its vivid color from the pandan juice that’s extracted from leaves of the tropical screw pine.
Versions of this blissfully cool dessert can be found throughout southeast Asia, but with the addition of a scoop of sweetened red beans, Singapore’s take on the classic treat remains especially tempting. Chocolate Chip Cookies, United States
The quintessential American treat is deceptively simple: a basic, creamed-butter cookie recipe turns out to have endless subtle variations that produc dramatically different results.
Whatever your favorite version, a perfect chocolate chip cookie is a delicate balance of textures and flavors. A crispy rim gives way to a tender, melting center, and the buttery sweetness of the dough sets off the slight edge of bittersweet chocolate and brown sugar.
Legend has it that the chocolate chip cookie has its origins in a happy accident, when Massachusetts inn owner Ruth Wakefield stirred chopped chocolate into her cookie dough in an attempt to make uniformly chocolatey cookies. Her brand-new recipe was published in a Boston newspaper, and the rest was pastry history. Chocolate Mousse, France
An airy confection made with just a handful of ingredients, chocolate mousse is a delicious paradox: the richer it is, the lighter it seems. Gallic chefs have been whipping up chocolate mousse — the word means “foam” in French — for at least a few hundred years, but the quest for foamy chocolate is much older.
Among the Olmec, Maya and Aztec peoples who consumed chocolate long before contact with Europeans, a hefty layer of foam was considered the height of good taste, and ancient codices depict cooks pouring chocolate from several feet in the air to create a froth. Coconut Cake, Southern United States
Bouncy, buttery rounds of vanilla cake are piled high with shredded coconut and seven-minute frosting for a classic Southern dessert. This is the kind of all-American sweet that stars at potlucks, cake walks and church picnics, and it’s often made with recipes passed down on hand-written recipe cards.
There are dozens of versions, but every single one is cloaked in a frothy layer of shredded coconut … preferably fresh.
Layer cakes weren’t invented in the United States, but the distinctive profile of the coconut cake is pure Americana, and there’s no mistaking the high, round shape of an American layer cake for a slim European torte.
Despite the minimalist, all-white color scheme, the coconut cake is an over-the-top, old-fashioned pleasure. The tooth-achingly sweet meringue frosting is a throwback that’s rarely seen outside of the South, and it’s worth making the original version for a taste of a unique American tradition. Cornes de Gazelle, Morocco
Even in a crowded field of tempting Moroccan sweets, these filled pastries are perennial favorites, and the labor-intensive dessert appears at celebrations and special meals throughout the year.
In the classic version, a thin layer of dough curves around a filling of ground almonds scented with orange blossom water. Since cornes de gazelle are baked just until they’re lightly golden, the dough retains a tender texture that melts into the center.
While cornes de gazelle are prepared across Morocco — as well as in the nearby countries of Tunisia and Algeria — the most visually elaborate versions come from the Moroccan port city of Tetouan, where bakers use intricate molds to create patterns in the dough before baking. Crème Brûlée, France
Shiny, burnt sugar tops this creamy dessert, and the perfect crème brûlée is a study in contrasts. Each bite should blend a bit of crispy caramel — burned just to the very edge of bitterness — with the aromatic flavor of vanilla custard.
Often made using pure cream, crème brûlée is among the richest of all the custard desserts, and it must be gently cooked in a water bath to prevent curdling and overbaking.
For pastry chefs, part of the appeal of preparing crème brûlée is the fiery drama of burning the sugar topping. They execute the job with everything from a blow torch to a traditional salamander, a cast-iron disk that can be heated to blazing temperatures and is said to produce the most even results. Dan Tats, Hong Kong
Follow the wafting scent of egg custard into a Hong Kong bakery to sample one of the territory’s most iconic treats. Perfectly sized for eating out-of-hand, dan tats are best enjoyed fresh from the oven, when the warm custard meets a perfectly crisp crust. And with a map-spanning backstory, dan tats are among the tastiest symbols of globalization.
Many trace dan tats to the similar pastéis de nata of Portugal; those eggy tarts traveled with Portuguese traders and colonists to cities around the world. After establishing a foothold in Hong Kong via nearby Macau, they were re-exported to Chinatowns around the globe, where they tempt passersby from steaming pastry cases and shop windows. Doughnuts, United States
In the Pantheon of world desserts, fried dough is a mainstay. Everything from French beignets to Greek loukoumades are doughnuts of a kind, and it’s no wonder they’re so beloved; a quick swim in boiling oil transforms simple bread dough into a fast and filling treat. But it’s latter day American doughnuts that earn a place on this list for their creative approach to fillings and flavors.
From Portland, Maine’s The Holy Donut to Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon, the old-school doughnut has been loaded down under piles of maple frosting, crispy bacon, fresh fruit glazes and boozy toppings that take the sweet into uncharted territory Eszterhazy Torta, Hungary
In its glory days, the Austro-Hungarian empire stretched across central Europe, and a century after the empire fell its creamy legacy can still be found in pastry shop windows from Vienna to Sarajevo.
For this elegant cake, slim rounds of almond meringue are piled high between stripes of chocolate buttercream, then topped with a marbled spiderweb of chocolate and vanilla fondant.
A melting texture and rich sweetness make this old-fashioned cake a perennial favorite in sweets-loving Budapest, but it’s just as easy to find in Vienna, the grand city that once led the empire. It remains deeply influenced by a shared culinary tradition. Flan, Latin America
In the sprawling family tree of custard desserts, Latin America’s flan is the coolest cousin, blending perfect simplicity with creamy sophistication.
A whisper-thin layer of dark caramel tops the dessert, melting into syrupy sauce around the base. Flan might have arrived in Latin America from Spain, but it’s since been claimed and reinvented by generations of cooks here.
In Mexico, where the dessert is served everywhere from neighborhood cafes to family celebrations, the silky texture of a classic flan is the perfect foil for a meal with fiery chiles and aromatic spices. Gâteau Fondant au Chocolat, France
Cut into a warm round of gâteau fondant au chocolat — that means “melting chocolate cake” in French — to release the slow flood of chocolate from the interior.
This dark and rich cake is a high-wire act of time and temperature: Serve too early and it’s a sticky pool of hot cake batter; serve too late and it’s a brownie. When the balance is perfect, however, the treat blends the tender bite of a chocolate cake with the oozy pleasure of a melted chocolate bar.
In the 1990s, the cake became a menu star as a lava cake or molten chocolate cake. While the heat of the craze has passed, this sensuous dessert remains one of the world’s most sophisticated ways to end a meal. Gelato, Italy
From shaved ice to sorbet, frozen desserts are melting evidence of one of the world’s great food truths: there’s nothing so welcome as a cold, sugary treat on a summer afternoon.
On the global heat map of frozen desserts, though, gelato’s sweet innovations earn top honors. Lower fat content and a warmer serving temperature help flavors shine brighter than in ice cream, whether you’re savoring a sunny scoop of lemon gelato, a rich hazelnut version or classic chocolate.
In Italy, the year-round treat in an essential food experience, and true aficionados even make the pilgrimage to the Gelato Museum in Bologna , where tours include a guided tasting at the museum cafe. Gulab Jamun, India
A lush, syrupy distillation of milky flavor, these deep-fried Indian treats are anything but a simple doughnut.
Traditional recipes for gulab jamun dough start with a scoop of khoya, a reduction of cow or buffalo milk that simmers for hours over a low flame, lending the finished product a melting texture.
Frying gulab jamun in ghee provides a second injection of fatty flavor before the dumplings are soaked in an aromatic syrup infused with cardamom seeds and roses.
The rich and labor-intensive sweet is a favorite at Indian celebrations from Eid al-Fitr to Diwali, but the name points to origins in Persia — legend has it that gulab jamun arrived in medieval India with Persian troops. Japanese Cheesecake
For the cheesecake aficionado who finds the New York version a trifle heavy, this Japanese treat might be a revelation. In the creamy sweet, which blends the flavorful tang of cheesecake with the loft of a sponge cake, the richness of lightly cultured cheese is offset by a light and airy texture.
The secret is an unusual technique of blending beaten egg whites — a meringue — into a warm batter that is rich with cream cheese and vanilla. Versions of this cheesecake are available everywhere from Japanese convenience stores to top-shelf bakeries.
When making your own or shopping for the perfect slice, watch for a characteristic jiggle that hints at the light, tender texture to come. Kashata, East Africa
Wander through a market in East Africa to find this golden sweet, which blends the satisfying crunch of caramelized sugar with the rich heft of peanuts, fresh coconut or a blend of the two.
Bridging the delicious divide between cookie and confection, kashata gets an aromatic boost from the addition of cardamom, which elevates the brittle-like treat into the realms of world-class sweets.
The traders who once plied the coast of East Africa in dhow sailboats brought new words, flavors and spices from across the water, and the name of this beloved treat is adapted from Arabic — but for many, kashata is among the sweetest and most nostalgic flavors of East Africa. Kifli, Hungary
While the rest ofthe world eats jam, central Europe enjoys the rich flavor of lekvár, a chunky preserve that retains all the tartness of the region’s ripe apricots and plums. The hearty fruit preserve is the delicious prize inside these crescent pastries.
A soft, flaky dough is shaped into a plump half-moon that barely contains the sweet filling, then topped with a light blanket of powdered sugar. Not that kifli are limited to fruit preserves. The sweets, which are especially beloved at holiday times, are often stuffed with sweetened walnuts or poppy seeds. Knafeh, Levant
Golden pastry tops sweet cream, nuts or salty cheese in this syrupy dessert, which offers a satisfying contrast of texture and flavor. Like many Middle Eastern desserts, knafeh is soaked in an aromatic sugar syrup that infuses the pastry topping and filling with the flavor of roses or orange blossoms.
While crowds line up for sweet slices of knafeh from Amman to Alexandria, the most iconic place to try the dessert might be in the Palestinian city of Nablus, which claims the title of knafeh’s home town.
In the Nablus version, a tangy filling of goat cheese is covered by threads of fine pastry or a tender blanket of baked semolina. Some knafeh-loving locals even layer the local sweet with a pair of pita rounds for a memorable sandwich. Kouign Amann, Brittany, France
Once a little-known treat that drew pastry pilgrims to Brittany, the kouign amann has officially made it big. Celebrity pastry chef Dominique Ansel gave it a boost by serving the caramel-crusted rounds in his SoHo bakery, but it’s the kouign amann’s sheer perfection that sent it down the sticky road to fame.
Brittany is known for the high quality of its butter and sea salt, and kouign amann simply means “butter cake” in the Breton language. It earns the name. Like a croissant, the kouign amann is rolled and folded with layers of butter, but fewer folds mean the kouign amann has a toothier, more rustic texture than its sophisticated city cousin.
A roll in sugar, a sprinkle of Breton sea salt and one of the world’s great pastries was born. Kulfi, India
Among the most voluptuous treats in the ice cream family, this frozen dessert has a temptingly rich texture. Traditional recipes, which can require hours of constant stirring, start by simmering fresh milk over a low flame, a slow reduction that lends a caramel sweetness to the milk’s natural sugars.
While modern-day kulfi appears in dozens of flavors, classic versions are infused with some of India’s most lilting tastes.
In cities across the country, visit a kulfiwallah for a transporting sample of rose, cardamom, saffron or pistachio kulfi; while recipes change with time, the sweet treat you’re tasting is thought to have roots in the Mughal Empire. Lemon Tart, France
A slender layer of lemon cream fills this classic French tart, whose flavor balances rich butter, the acidity of lemon juice and the bite of lemon zest. The crust, with a texture that’s similar to a shortbread cookie, retains a fatty crunch that’s an ideal contrast to the silky filling.
When perfectly executed the result is dessert heaven, and the simplicity of the tart makes it a fitting icon of the French pastry kitchen. While the old-fashioned version remains a beloved stand-by, some of the best tarts in Paris offer intriguing twists: try Sadaharu Aoki’s yuzu tart, made with an aromatic relative of the lemon, or head to Pierre Hermé to taste an extra lemony version topped by bits of candied citrus. Linzer Torte, Austria
Like its namesake city in Austria, this slender torte is an old-fashioned favorite that’s still a star in the 21st century. A dough enriched with ground nuts, often hazelnuts or walnuts, melts into a jammy filling for a treat that’s somewhere between cake and tart.
Recipes for Linzer tortes have been around since at least 1653, and in the torte’s Linz homeland, families pass variations on the richly spiced confection from generation to generation.
Along with the peek-a-boo lattice crust that hints at the filling at the heart of the torte, spices lend this tender sweet its lasting charm. While the filling is often a simple fruit preserve, Linzer torte dough is aromatic with ground cloves, cinnamon and lemon zest that make the Austrian treat a perennial favorite. M’hanncha, Morocco
Cut into this golden spiral of pastry to uncover a rich filling of ground nuts, orange blossom water and mastic, a natural resin that perfumes sweets from Tangier to Turkey. Paired with a traditional glass of Moroccan mint tea, it’s a generous and celebratory dessert that invites every guest to serve themselves as much as they’d like, scattering the slivered nuts and ground cinnamon that decorate the top.
Even thinner than filo, the delicate warqa dough that’s used for this Moroccan sweet is prepared by daubing a ball of dough on a hot griddle; it’s an impressive labor of love that takes deft hands and many hours of practice. Ma’amoul, Middle East
When celebrating some of the year’s most anticipated holidays, many in the Levant reach for the comforting taste of these filled cookies, whose thin, semolina crust wraps around a delicious blend of chopped dates, nuts or both.
The simple cookies are shaped in wooden molds carved with intricate patterns, emerging as finely-wrought rounds or detailed cones.
They’re a memorable treat with an appealingly mild sweetness, and a love of ma’amoul unites the region’s three predominant religious traditions: Jews enjoy ma’amoul as a Purim treat, bakers shape vast piles of the sweets for Easter, and in some areas, ma’amoul are an essential part of Eid feasts.
Bite into one of these traditional sweets and you’ll find out why. Mandazi, South Sudan
The addition of coconut milk lends a tender bite and subtle aroma to these satisfying fritters, whose light sweetness is especially appealing when paired with a cup of milky coffee or chai tea.
In some versions, a pinch of ground cardamom provides an extra jolt of spice, and the simple doughnuts are an invitation to get creative with flavors, toppings and sides.
While many mandazi lovers trace the origins of these fried treats to South Sudan — where they’re often served with a rich chocolate dipping sauce that lands them firmly in dessert territory — mandazi are also a beloved snack across Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Uganda. Medovik, Russia
A touch of honey infuses an aromatic lilt into the slender layers of this cake, which is among Russia’s most beloved treats. In between the cake layers, which can be stacked 10 high in the most elaborate versions, is a creamy frosting that melts into the honeyed rounds.
Variations on medovik differ widely, but the most popular takes incorporate one of two very Russian ingredients into the sweet filling.
Some use the rich sour cream that adds flavor to some of Russia’s most comforting foods, from borscht to blini. Others get their flavor from sweetened condensed milk, which became an icon of Russian cooking during the Soviet era, when fresh milk could be hard to come by. New York Cheesecake, United States
The Big Apple’s most iconic dessert seems to defy pastry physics. A light crumb offsets rich creaminess, a winning combination that elevates a simple list of flavors.
Like the city itself, New York cheesecake draws inspiration from around the globe, and a genetic map of the cheese cake world would likely include the crumbly, dry-curd cheesecakes of eastern Europe, German kasekuchen and the fresh-cheese versions that are beloved in Italy.
Unlike more fanciful recipes, New York’s classic take on cheesecake eschews toppings or pronounced flavors, with just a hint of vanilla extract or lemon zest to lend a lilting aroma to a blend of sugar, eggs, cream and cream cheese, almost always Philadelphia brand. The brand is so associated with American cheesecakes that it’s often called out by name on menus around the globe, where tarta de queso Philadelphia or gâteau fromage Philadelphia are rich diplomats for a beloved New York sweet. Oliebollen, Netherlands
The Netherlands’ sweet contribution to the world of fried dumplings, oliebollen are a deliciously Dutch way to celebrate New Year’s Eve. A crunchy, crispy ball of sweetened batter studded with raisins or currants, then dunked in powdered sugar, oliebollen are best eaten hot from street stands called oliebollenkrams.
It might seem like a simple snack, but oliebollen are serious business in the Netherlands, where an annual contest uses blind testing at the academic Center for Taste Research in Wageningen to choose the country’s very best oliebol. Pavlova, Australia and New Zealand
Pastry-loving Aussies and Kiwis get riled when dinner conversations turn to Pavlova, a wonderfully messy meringue dessert that’s a long-running sore point between Australia and New Zealand.
Anna Pavlova, the globe-trotting Russian ballerina that the dessert is named for, visited both countries. Each claims the sweet as their own, but that’s where the dispute ends — no one denies the crunchy, creamy pleasures of a perfectly made Pavlova.
Sink a fork into the crisp meringue shell, and you’ll discover a sweetly chewy interior. Piled high atop the meringue are fluffy whipped cream and tart fruits, a lofty topping whose richness and bright flavor offset the sugary base for a world-class dessert. Polvorónes, Latin America, Spain and the Philippines
Tiny, powdered cookies that crumble at the lightest touch, these shortbread treats are beloved from Manila to Mexico City. In the United States, a version of these cookies is often called Mexican wedding cookies, but it would be a shame to leave them for special occasions alone. Polvorónes are the kind of simple treat that’s welcome as an afternoon snack or piled onto a dessert tray, where they can hold their own against the world’s greatest cookies.
Recipes vary, and include almonds, walnuts or pecans, but each iteration of the cookies shares the same tender bite and origins in Spain; some speculate that the treats have even older roots in the Middle East. Qatayef, Middle East
As if hours of fasting weren’t enough to pique the appetite, many Ramadan adherents can look forward to the sweet taste of qatayef when the sun finally does set.
The dessert starts life as a kind of yeasted pancake batter, but qatayef is griddled on just one side, creating a toothy balance between the golden-fried crust and tender interior. Stuffed into the folded base is a sweet mixture of fresh cheese, dried fruits, nuts or cream, often scented with rose water or ground cinnamon.
Some versions of qatayef can be eaten just like that — perhaps with the addition of some aromatic syrup —but classic recipes are fried before serving, adding an additional layer of crunch and flavor before the beloved sweets hit the holiday table. Rigó Jancsi, Hungary
Fluffy chocolate sponge cake is sandwiched with apricot jam and airy chocolate mousse in this classic treat. Topped with a whisper-thin layer of chocolate glaze then cut into tidy cubes of chocolate, the Rigó Jancsi stands out even in the notably crowded field of fabulous Hungarian desserts.
Beloved for a silky texture and rich flavor, the seductive cake was named for a love story that caught the world’s attention with racy images and juicy details. Rigó Jancsi was a Romani violinist who won the heart of the (married) Princesse de Caraman-Chimay of Belgium, and the two made international headlines when they ran off together in 1896. Saffron Ice Cream, Iran
Scented with saffron, rosewater and pistachios, it’s no wonder that this Iranian ice cream is a favorite at Nowruz, the Persian New Year.
From a lightly golden color to its distinctive aroma, the creamy treat is the essence of spring. Saffron ice cream, or bastani, is a memorable experience on its own, and its flavor alone easily snags a spot among the world’s greatest frozen desserts.
For the complete bastani experience, though, opt for a traditional Iranian ice cream sandwich of saffron ice cream between two thin wafers. The wafers’ mild flavor and crispy texture are the perfect foil — and conveniently shaped handle — for the rich and aromatic ice cream, which is beloved from Tehran to Tehrangeles. Sesame Balls, Jian Dui, China
Bite into the crisp shell of a deep-fried jian dui to discover a sweet filling within the golden, sesame-seed-studded exterior. This traditional Chinese treat is often filled with a sweet bean paste or a soft puree made from lotus seeds; both versions offer a deliciously mild counterpoint to the crunchy seeds.
Jian dui are especially popular as a treat at Lunar New Year celebrations, but not just for their delicious flavor. Dessert blogger and author Anita Chu writes that for many Chinese people, jian dui offer a special symbolism during that time: both the spherical shape and golden color are good omens for the year to come, as is the way the jian dui puff up when fried in hot oil. Snow Ice, Xue Hua Bing, Taiwan
Like snow cones, Hawaiian shaved ice, raspados, granitas and dozens of other local variants, snow ice is Taiwan’s answer to one of the world’s great food truths: Nothing beats a sweet, icy treat when the weather is steamy.
Unusual shaving technique and complex toppings elevate the Taiwanese version above the competition. A creamy base, which can be flavored with everything from green tea to fruit purées, is frozen solid then shaved into a lofty pile of crumbling ice flakes.
To top it all off, blend your own perfect mix of treats. Favorites include adzuki red bean paste, taro, grass jelly, fresh fruit, sweetened condensed milk and mochi, but Taiwanese snow ice is an invitation to get as creative as you’d like.
Snow ice has spread to cities across the globe in recent years, but for the classic experience, head to Taipei’s Shilin Night Market, where locals line up for the xue hua bing sold by dozens of vendors. Sour Cherry Pie, Midwestern United States
Slice into the crispy top of a sour cherry pie, and the brilliant filling might come as a shock — it’s an electric color that seems more likely to be harvested from a can than a tree. That electric red comes from the tart Montmorency cherries that are the classic filling for this pie. Since the tender fruits are more perishable than their sweeter cousins, if you live outside the Midwest or Northeast United States you might never have seen one.
Sour cherries have plenty of acid to counter-balance the sugar in the filling, and they’re rich in tannins, too. It’s a hint of complexity that put this fruit pie over the top as one of the best in America.
On the search for the perfect slice of sour cherry pie? Head to the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan, or to Jacksonport, Wisconsin’s Cherry Fest . Sticky Rice with Mango, Thailand
Ignore the chalky versions sold in restaurants that are 10 time zones from a mango tree; a ripe, tender dish of sticky rice with mango is among the world’s most perfect desserts. This traditional sweet begins with the glutinous rice that’s grown in paddies across southeast Asia, and the starchy grains combine with rich coconut milk and palm sugar for a treat that retains a chewy bite even when it’s perfectly soft.
The sweet world of mangoes includes hundreds and hundreds of cultivars, but for a truly Thai sticky rice with mango there are just two favored varieties: choose between nam dok mai, a sweet, yellow fruit that’s pertly curvaceous, or aok rong, whose higher acidity offers a pleasant counterpoint to the sweet rice. Sticky Toffee Pudding, United Kingdom
The ultimate in comforting British desserts, this homey sweet is a warm serving of sticky nostalgia. A base of soft cake is studded with chopped dates, then drowned in a creamy sauce. Much of the distinctive flavor comes from treacle, or molasses.
While treacle has given way to crystallized sugar in most cooks’ pantries, it was once a favored sweetener that was an important part of working-class diets in the UK. It’s worth noting that sticky toffee pudding is not what’s known as a pudding outside of the British Isles, where “pudding” is a generic term for dessert, but it’s proved a popular export.
With versions served from Wales to Wellington, it’s likely that the sun never sets on the world’s sticky toffee puddings. Tarte Tatin, France
If you’ve never encountered this famed French dessert, then tarte Tatin may arrive as a delicious surprise. A world away from the architectural, lacquered creations that fill Parisian pastry shop windows, the very best of these are a humble mess with heavenly flavor — preferably topped with a generous dollop of tangy crème fraîche. To bake this caramelized treat, start by layering apples, sugar and butter in a heavy pan, then top it off with a round of dough. The pastry seals the filling into a steamy enclosure, allowing the sugar to caramelize as the apples melt into tender perfection. The crux of the operation is when the tart emerges from the oven and must be flipped onto a plate before the molten sugar turns to sticky glue. Tiramisú, Italy
Creamy layers of whipped mascarpone cradle coffee-soaked ladyfingers in this modern Italian dessert, which has become a sweet mainstay around the globe. It’s no wonder. With a name that translates to “pick me up,” it’s a combination of coffee, chocolate, cream and optional booze that’s sure to pique even the most jaded palates.
Most pastry-loving historians trace the treat’s origins to the Treviso restaurant Le Beccherie, but by the time the world reached peak tiramisú in the late 1980s and 1990s, rival claims were hot as a strong-brewed cup of Italian espresso. Whatever the truth behind the creamy dessert, it’s earned well-deserved pride of place on menus from Umbria to Ulaanbaatar. Tres Leches Cake, Mexico and Central America
A fluffy sponge cake is the perfect vehicle for delivering loads of flavor in this wonderfully creamy dessert. The “three milks” that the sweet is named for are usually sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream, which combine for a delightful cake so wet it’s almost a drink.
While fresh milk is now widely available, the flavor of sweetened condensed milk is a throwback to a time when the perishable stuff was hard to find, especially in warmer climates.
Even in the days of refrigerated trucks, the gooey, sweet milk retains an appeal all its own, and flavor that infuses beloved treats around the world: it’s stirred into Thai iced tea, drizzled over shaved ice raspados in Latin America and cooked into Brazilian brigadeiros. Trifle, United Kingdom
Tender layers of sherry-soaked sponge cake alternate with jam, custard and — in a practical British twist — almost anything sweet and delicious the baker has on hand, as long as it’s topped with a lush blanket of whipped cream. And no matter what you tuck between the rounds of cake, a trifle has a sweetly old-fashioned feel.
The name dates back to at least the 16th century and is probably older, though the ingredients of the dessert have evolved over time. Even as the equally-historic syllabub has disappeared from the standard playlist of homemade British desserts, trifle remains pure, creamy nostalgia for many food lovers.
The secret to the longevity of the trifle might be in its forgiving nature. When I was an apprentice baker in an Oakland café, a pastry chef offered me this reassuring advice: As long as your flavors are good, she said, don’t worry too much about cakes emerging from the oven looking flawless. The worst-case scenario? “Put it in a bowl and call it a trifle.” Tub Tim Krob, Thailand
With a name that translates to “crispy rubies,” it’s not hard to love this colorful and refreshing Thai dessert. After a fiery meal of Thai cuisine, tub tim krob cools with crushed ice and a sweetened coconut liquid infused with pandan leaves.
While often compared with vanilla, pandan has a lilting aroma all its own, but for tub tim krob lovers the “rubies” are the real treasure. For these, water chestnuts are soaked in vivid grenadine syrup, rolled in tapioca flour, then boiled.
The result is a sweet bite that’s both chewy and slightly crunchy, with a hint of salt from the coconut broth. The verdict? A chilled bowl of tub tim krob is easily worth the flight to Bangkok.
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