For those old enough to make their own food decisions (like whether or not to finish all their broccoli), it should be totally socially acceptable to skip the leafy greens and savory dishes in favor of sweets and more sweets. With a world full of so many different delectable treats, it can be hard to justify filling up on things like lunch and dinner. For every country’s savory delicacy or local specialty, there is a sweet counterpart equally worth tasting — why should sushi get all the attention in Japan when there is daifuku mochi to try? And why should po’boys in New Orleans get all the play when there are beignets to indulge in?
Some sweet dishes are familiar and often found around the world, like Italian gelato, Middle Eastern baklava, Spanish churros, and Parisian crêpes. But there are more than enough desserts that are so tied to one place that spending time there without trying it would be a crime. The world of desserts and sweets is incredibly vast and each country has a different method for approaching it — some have a penchant for deep-fried treats, some prefer a custard-like gooey texture, some can’t get enough of a pudding-style dessert, and still some go the frozen or fresh fruit route.
Since dessert is such an indulgence, sweet treats are usually made with some of the most prized and delicious ingredients found in that region, like red bean paste in Japan, glutinous rice in Thailand, and toffee in Britain. They also often rose out of clever experiments — like Canadian maple taffy, which is maple syrup hardened when it’s poured on snow. And in once-colonized countries, desserts can reflect the lingering influence of the country that was once present, like the Brazilian dessert quindim, which uses many Portuguese ingredients and techniques.
So here are 20 reasons to skip dinner and head straight for dessert, no matter where you go.