Squid Ink Ice Cream, Japan
Folks will add pretty much any flavor into ice cream and call it dessert (weâre talking to you, spaghetti, garlic and artichoke ice cream!), but this squid ink concoction will delight even discerning palates. The ice cream comes out jet black with a slightly salty, metallic or delicately fishy flavor.
Cherpumple, Los Angeles
In the showy and excessive fashion we expect from America, the Cherpumple takes shape. Think of it as turducken for dessert. Individual cherry, pumpkin and apple pies are baked together within a spice cake and then slathered with a sweet cream cheese frosting. About a foot high and a dayâs worth of calories in one slice, Cherpumple can have its cake and eat it too and no one can stop it.
Beet Halva, India
Halva (or Halwa) is a popular dish around the world, but in India this beet treat is singularly pretty. Finely shredded beet is blended with cardamom, milk and sugar to form a small round loaf that is topped with cashews. Served with vanilla ice cream, youâll be eager to eat your vegetables!
Sultanâs Golden Cake, Istanbul
This (ridiculously) decadent torte takes over three days to complete, and will set you back a cool $1000 if you order it. A fruit mixture of figs, pears and apricots is soaked in rum for a minimum of two years. The fruity cake is then topped with such rich adornments as caramel, truffles and then gilded in gold leaf!
Deep Fried Candy Bars, Scotland
The Scots know how to get back to basics. Take a delicious candy bar and fry it to a crisp! Dipped in batter and then deep fried, this dessert tips the scales of indulgence. A fish and chip shop near Aberdeen first had the notion in the 1990s and ever since people have been frying everything from Twinkies to Oreos to Reeseâs. Mars bars, Snickers, even Bounty bars are local favorites, but make sure the candy is chilled or you’ll have a melty mess on your plate. Yes, please, Iâll have another.
This Nordic treat takes licorice to the extreme. The Swedes take plain ice cream, chocolate or hard candies and flavor it with astringent, tongue-numbing âsalty licorice,â which derives its flavor from ammonium chloride. Even if you like the strong anise flavor of regular black licorice, youâll be surprised by the overwhelming Salmiakki flavor of these popular sweets. Try it if you dare, but many call it quite the acquired taste.
Leche Frita, Spain
Literally translated it means âfried milk,â but this sweet Spanish delight is so much tastier than that moniker sounds. Milk flavored with honey or sugar, cinnamon, and lemon is thickened with flour to form a loose dough. The squares are then fried and drizzled with more sweetness. Variations are enjoyed around the world but this version originated in Palencia and spread from there.
Red Bean Pie, South Korea
Not the savory pie youâd think, the bean paste is mixed with eggs, condensed milk, butter, sugar, ginger and cloves for a delightfully fragrant and spiced finished product. The crust is usually comprised of a light rice cake. Donât knock this one âtil youâve tried it!
Tavuk Gogsu, Turkey
This signature Turkish treat is comprised of finely shredded chicken breast, milk, rice and spices. The resulting pudding is a surprisingly sweet, delicate flavor accented with toasted almonds or sometimes pomegranate. For over 2000 years this dessert has been on noblesâ tables, so even though it is unconventional, give it a try!
Other fruitcakes pale in comparison to this âstrong breadâ of Italy. Traditionally a holiday treat, panforte is an extremely dense cake made from simmered fruits, nuts and sugar. It is traditionally spicy with red or black pepper, ginger and sometimes chile powder. Best enjoyed in a thin slice with after dinner coffee or port, a little of this goes a long way!
Whilst you traipse around the world in search of these sweet delights, remember to search Excellent Hotels for your hotel bookings!