12 Mouthwatering Desserts From Around the World

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Flight Network Foodie  

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From the bustling streets of Bangkok and Jerusalem to cool cafes in Reykjavik, there’s one thing that unites nearly every nook and cranny of the globe — and it’s dessert. Whether they’re in the form of fruity pies, flaky pastries or creamy soups, we humans just can’t seem to get enough of the sweet stuff. These 12 unique desserts from around the world are guaranteed to make your mouth water.

Alfajores — Buenos Aires, Argentina

Photo credit: Jamieanne
Photo credit: Jamieanne

These South American cookie sandwiches put Oreos to shame. Most alfajores feature dulce de leche sandwiched between two biscuit-style cookies, but many bakeries put their own twist on the dessert by using fruit fillings and dunking the cookies in chocolate.

Where to taste it: Havanna is an Argentinian chain known for the quality of their traditional alfajores as well as ones with a contemporary twist.

Rugelach — Jerusalem, Israel

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You’ll probably find yourself snacking on these bite-size pastries every time you see them in the Jerusalem marketplaces. First the sweet pastry is rolled with fruit filling, chocolate or nuts, then it’s topped with an egg-white glaze and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Where to taste it: Take a walk in the Machine Yehuda Market and stop at Cafe Marzipan for some of the best rugelach in the city.

Tong Shui — Hong Kong, China

Photo credit: Wendy
Photo credit: Wendy

These warm Cantonese custards and dessert soups vary in flavor and consistency from tofu pudding to almond, walnut and the crowd-pleasing sweet black sesame soup.

Where to taste it: You’ll find a variety of tong shui flavors and styles at Auntie Sweet in the Tin Hau neighborhood of Hong Kong.

Basbousa — Cairo, Egypt

Photo credit: Larry
Photo credit: Larry

This Egyptian street food will make you forget about swanky restaurant desserts forever. Basbousa is a semi-sweet and moist semolina cake smothered with whipped cream, berries and lime curd.

Where to taste it: Buy your basbousa street-side from El Abd Pastry in downtown Cairo.

Pavlova — Sydney, Australia

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If your sweet tooth favors fruits over pastries, you’ll fall in love with the popular dessert that originated in Australia or New Zealand (the debate over pavlova’s origins still continues today). Pavlova is the combination of a crisp meringue crust topped with a layer of fluffy whipped cream and farm-fresh fruits.

Where to taste it: The Black Star Pastry and Cafe — located in Newtown, New South Wales — serves up some of the best pavlova in Australia and a wide variety of other award-winning desserts.

Brazo Gitano — Caracas, Venezuela

Photo credit: Javier Garcia
Photo credit: Javier Garcia

Venezuela’s brazo gitano dessert may look like a Swiss roll, but when you get one stuffed with coffee cream, blackberry jam or chocolate and topped with meringue, icing or burnt crema catalana, you’ll realize that brazo gitano is distinctly South American.

Where to taste it: Head down to the San Marino area of Caracas and into the Pasteleria Danubio for an authentic brazo gitano, then order another one to go.

Beignets — New Orleans, United States

Photo credit: vxla
Photo credit: vxla

This staple New Orleans dessert is simply a deep-fried square pastry topped with powdered sugar, but beignets prove that desserts don’t have to be complicated to be delicious.

Where to taste it: Sample the nearly 150-year-old beignet recipe at the world-famous Cafe du Monde in downtown New Orleans.

Snuour — Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo credit: Michael May
Photo credit: Michael May

What could be better than a warm cinnamon roll on a cool Icelandic day? A warm, gooey cinnamon roll smothered with chocolate icing — known as Snuour in Iceland — and dipped in a steaming cup of espresso from a cozy cafe.

Where to taste it: Bakari Sandholt is a favourite bakery in the capital city of Reykjavik where snuours are served hot and fresh daily.

Syrniki — Moscow, Russia

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Nothing’s better than dessert for breakfast, and that’s exactly what Russia’s traditional treat syrniki is. These golden-brown, farmer’s cheese infused pancakes are usually topped with fresh fruit and served with a side of creamy sour cream for breakfast or as dessert.

Where to taste it: Vogue Cafe in Moscow is one of the best places in all of Russia to enjoy a romantic meal and end it with their famous syrniki.

Chocolate Souffle — Paris, France

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No visit to France is complete without a taste of Grand Marnier-infused chocolate souffle. Because chocolate souffles are baked to have a firm exterior and a gooey, chocolatey interior, they’re known for being remarkably difficult to master.

Where to taste it: Try a chocolate souffle from those who know how to bake it best — the world-renowned chefs at Le Souffle in the first arrondissement of Paris.

 Guinness Cake — Dublin, Ireland

Photo credit: Anna
Photo credit: Anna

You don’t necessarily have to drink a pint of Guinness when you travel to Ireland, you can drink one too. This uniquely Irish cake is made from flour, ginger, cinnamon, raisins, lemon, eggs and the most important ingredient — Guinness.

Where to taste it: Gilroy’s Restaurant at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin offers a huge selection of Guinness-infused treats including the traditional Irish Guinness Cake.

Thai Mango Sticky Rice — Bangkok, Thailand

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This sweet and fresh dessert dish is typically served at Thai New Year’s celebrations, but it has become so popular it’s now served year-round in Thai restaurants and street markets. The combination of sticky rice, fresh mango and coconut sauce makes for a refreshing treat at the end of a hot Thai day.

Where to taste it: Taste Thai mango sticky rice at the Chatuchak Market (also known as the J.J. Market) — one of the world’s largest and most famed street markets.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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