4. Ice Cream
The origins of everyone’s favorite cold and creamy treat can be traced back to
China around 200 B.C. The Chinese
developed a frozen dish consisting of rice and milk that would later evolve
into a more recognizable interpretation of ice cream as the concept spread
westward, throughout the Arab world and eventually into Europe.
The first documented recipes for ice cream began to appear in England in the 18th
century and consisted of a frozen mixture of sweetened cream and fruit.
Quaker colonists can be credited for bringing ice cream to the
New World. This dish was
immensely popular amongst the colonies and was even a favorite treat of the
Founding Fathers’, which perhaps aided the longevity of its popularity. In the
19th century, the United
States began mass production of ice cream,
solidifying it as a staple amongst American desserts.
Today, you can find just about any flavor or variety of ice cream imaginable in the
United States. You can also enjoy
ice cream in a multitude of ways, from ice cream cakes to milkshakes, or even
our recipe for “A Little Touch of Heaven,” a delicious mixture of ice cream,
cookies, and preserves!
5. Crème Brûlée
Despite what our mothers told us, most of us secretly like to play with our food, and what dessert could possibly be more playful than crème brûlée? You get to use a blow-torch, and then you get you get to break into it with a spoon! That’s pretty wild for such a fancy-sounding dish.
While the exact origins of crème brûlée (which literally translates as “burnt cream”) are unknown, most food historians believe the dessert was developed in either
The first documented recipe for crème brûlée appeared in a French cookbook from
1691. The dish eventually became known as “Trinity Cream” or “Cambridge Burnt
Cream” in Britain after a
specialized version of the dessert was introduced at Trinity
College in Cambridge in 1879.
In regards to the dessert in the
some records show that Thomas Jefferson enjoyed serving crème brûlée to guests
at the White House. The recipe appeared in many magazines and cookbooks
throughout the mid-20th century, but the dessert saw an immense
resurgence in popularity in the 1980s after it became a special menu item at
the famous restaurant Le Cirque in New York.
No “favorite desserts” list would be complete without cheesecake, that sinfully decadent treat that makes mouths water everywhere.
The story of cheesecake begins 4000 years ago in ancient Greece. After excavating cheese molds on the Greek island of Samos, archaeologists believe that the concept of the cheesecake began on that very island. Historical records also indicate that cheesecake was served to the original Olympic athletes and was also a popular wedding dish. This early Greek cheesecake, however, differed vastly from our own modern version, consisting of a mixture of flour, wheat, honey, and cheese.
Cheesecake eventually spread to Europe thanks to the Romans, and for several centuries, the Europeans began to create their own variations of the dish, such as Henry VIII’s chef who added eggs, butter, and sugar to the mix. However, it was the United States that transformed the cheesecake into its current form. After the invention of cream cheese in 1872 and its mass production in the early 20th century, cooks began to implement this yummy new ingredient as the main component of cheesecake.
New York-style cheesecake, often considered by Americans to be the most traditional form of the dessert, was created in the early 1900s by Arnold Reuben, who was also the creator of the classic sandwich that bears his name. Reuben concocted the recipe after sampling a cheese pie at a dinner party and attempting to replicate it.
The cheesecake has remained so beloved in the United States that today there exist numerous variants of the dish, such as Turtle Cheesecake and Pumpkin Cheesecake, as well as our own scrumptious “Amaretto Cheesecake,” an elegant and over-the-top dessert that will have your guests immediately hooked.