NutriPro Desserts - Around the globe

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sweets are beloved around the globe, although the tastes and meanings of desserts vary from culture to culture.

A deeper layer of meaning

  • In some parts of the world, desserts play an important role in cultural ceremonies. For example, in India:
  • Hindu temples offer sweets to the gods in return for their blessings. Most of these desserts contain milk or are fried in the clarified butter called ghee because the cow and its milk are considered sacred in India.1
  • Newborn babies are celebrated with a rice feeding ceremony because it’s believed the first thing a child eats should be sweet, according to R. Gupta.1
  • In Muslim engagement rituals, the mothers of both families meet to seal the deal, which they call “sweetening the mouth.” The wedding rings are delivered in a container of sugar, and both families exchange sweets.1

Cultural craving

India: Reduced milk sweets, deep fried batters in syrup

Middle East: Halvah marzipan

Greece: Spoon desserts, pastries in syrup

France: Caramel, nougat

England and the US: Novelty candies

Scandinavia: Licorice

Mexico: Dulce de leche

Japan: Agar candies, sweet rice, mochi tea



1. Sweet invention- A history of desserts by Michael Krondl , Publisher Chicago Review Press, INC 2011