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Where Can You Try the Best Desserts in the World?

Raise your hand if you love desserts!

Yes, a truly great meal is punctuated with desserts. Bonus, if your dessert is an exclamation point to a course of appetizing dishes. Aside from satisfying your taste buds, desserts also share historical and cultural tidbits about the country where it is from.

Listed below some countries where you can taste must-try desserts. Let’s take a whirlwind tour of unique and sumptuous treats from across the globe.

How many have you tasted? How many are in your foodie bucket list? Check them out.

Argentina for pastelitos

These flaky puff pastries from Argentina, also referenced to as pastelitos del 25 de Mayo, are usually eaten on their Independence day. Puff pastries the size of wonton wrappers are filled with quince or sweet potato, deep fried, drizzled with sugar syrup, and decorated with colorful sprinkles for a final touch. Aside from a dessert snack, pastelitos can be eaten for breakfast, and best partnered with cafe con leech.

Pastelitos criollos artentinos

Pastelitos, Photo by El rrienseolava 

Brazil for brigadeiros

Celebrations in Brazil are not complete without brigadeiros, a bonbon-like treat. This well-loved dessert is relatively easy to make. You just melt the butter in a pan, add in the condensed milk and cocoa powder, and stir until you get the right consistency. The mixture will then be rolled into small balls, and coated with chocolate sprinkles!

Chocolate Candy, Photo from charles-be

Chocolate Candy, Photo from charles-be

China for dragon beard candy

Legend has it that the first dragon beard candy was spun by an imperial court chef when he wasshowing the emperor the making of a new confection during the Han dynasty. The candy-making process involved stretching a mixture from rice flour into thin strands, which reminded the emperor of a beard. The candy is made from sugar and maltose syrup, formed into a cocoon and stuffed with peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut. It is not only a popular traditional Chinese dessert, it is also considered a handmade traditional art.

Dragon's Beard Candy 

Indonesia for dadar gulung

Rolled pancakes, anyone?

Dadar gulung, a popular dessert from Java, Indonesia, literally means pancake (dadar) that is rolled (gulung). The juice extracted from the pandan leaves add the green color and unique aroma to the pancake batter. Once the pancake is made, it is filled with sweet coconut mixture, and rolled, ready to be served

Kue Dadar Gulung

Kue Dadar Gulung, Photo by Midori 

Italia for gelato

Craving for a cold treat? The streets of Italy offer gelato, a softer and smoother version of the traditional American ice cream. You will surely delight yourself with the Italian gelato’s slow-to-melt, rich milkiness and intense flavors ranging from fruits and nuts to alcoholic mixtures.

Gelato, Photo by christyxcore

Gelato, Photo by christyxcore 

Japan for Mochi

The Japanese mochi is a sticky rice cake made from mochigome, a short-grained glutinous rice.Mochigome is pounded into paste in a ceremony called mochitsuki, and molded into round balls. While available year-round, mochis are often sold and eaten during the Japanese New Year. A variation of this Japanese dessert is the mochi ice cream, which has the sticky rice cake coating a scoop of ice cream inside.

Skeeze

Mochi, Photo by skeeze

Peru for Picarones

In the course of making a substitute for buñuelos, the Peruvians came up with picarones! This dessert is made from squash and sweet potatoes, and deep fried in doughnut form. It is served covered in syrup made from chancaca or solidified molasses. These Peruvian donuts were first made during the Spanish viceroyalty in Lima, but are now popularly sold during religious celebrations in October.Picarones 

Philippines for the bibingka

An icon during Christmas season in the Philippines, the bibingka is a rice cake often sold in stalls outside churches for the duration of the ‘Misa de Gallo’ or nine-day novena mass. The traditional bibingkang galapong is made from a batter of rice flour and coconut milk or water, and cooked in clay pots, lined with banana leaves. Once cooked, it is topped with a spread of butter, a slice of salted duck egg, sugar, and grated coconut.

Bibingka

Bibingka, Photo by Roberto Verzo, Wikimedia

 

About the Author

Stacey Marone is a part-time pastry chef, and editor for Scholar Advisor. She hasn’t outgrown her sweet tooth, and decided to make a career out of it. Stacey particularly orders for a country’s traditional dessert whenever she gets the chance to travel.

The Oculus, NYC’s 3rd Largest Transportation Hub

The Oculus, the gleaming white World Trade Center Transportation Hub that is the centerpiece of the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, is striking for its futuristic design as well the contrast it draws to the structures that surround it. Designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, at a cost of $4 million, the Oculus is approximately 800,000 square feet. From the outside, it resembles a bird with giant, outspread wings, ready to take off. The inside, looks to me, like the deck of an enormous space ship.

The Oculus, a bird

The Oculus

A bird?

According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s website, when it opens fully later this year, 250,000 commuters will pass through its concourses connecting daily to 11 subway lines, the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rail system, the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal, the World Trade Center Memorial, Towers 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the World Trade Center, the World Financial Center and the Winter Garden. 

While we were there on Saturday, we saw just a fraction of that number. As they walked through, many turned and snapped photos of the cavernous white space.

The Oculus, interior

Some lay on their backs on the marble floor to photograph the ‘eye’ and the slice of the World Trade Center building that peeks through. 

The Oculus, leaves

As the light started to change, I tried to imagine how the interior looks when the sun rises and sets daily. 

The Oculus, shaft of gold

The Oculus has such a light appearance that standing beneath the 155-foot high ‘eye,’ I felt as if we could start moving – we didn’t.

The Oculus is not only a transportation hub. About 78,000 square feet of its space will be dedicated to stores and restaurants. Most of the spaces were covered with hoardings from retailers such as H&M, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, etc.

The Oculus, reflecting in the North Pool

The Oculus, reflected in the North Pool of the World Trade Center

The Oculus (eyelike opening or design) never fails to catch the eye. My only issue is that the Port Authority should have set aside more space to give it room to ‘breathe.’ With a building within a few feet of its left ‘wing,’ it feels hemmed in.

Linking this week with Travel Photo Thursday which Nancie of Budget Travelers Sandbox, and co-hosts, Ruth at Tanama Tales, Jan at Budget Travel Talk, and Rachel at Rachel’s Ruminations organize. Be sure to head over to see more travel photos from around the world!

Budget Travelers Sandbox

 

Also linking this week with The Weekly Postcard….

A Hole In My Shoe
 
and the Weekly Travel Inspiration that is organized by Corinne and Jim of Reflections Enroute, Margherita and Nick of TheCrowdedPlanet, Paula and Gordy of ContentedTraveller, Rhonda Albom of AlbomAdventures, Eileen from FamiliesGo and Michele of MalysianMeanders
 

Flux Art Fair, Harlem

I noticed them right away – two giant heads at one of the east side entrances to Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. I stopped jogging to take a closer look. Neither figure resemblance Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican-born black nationalist after whom the park was renamed in 1973. Maybe, I thought, the likeness was of Pelham Fritz. Fritz, the former assistant commissioner of recreation at the Parks Department was a regular at the park. Following his death in 1988, the park’s recreation center was named for him. 

I checked but there were no plaque, no sign, nothing to indicate why they were there. I was intrigued. I took a few photos. As I did, another jogger stopped and asked if I knew who they were.

Flux Art in Harlem

(E)scape – New Faces, Bob Clyatt

I was jogging again the following week when I spotted this colorful totem-like piece just north of the basketball court.  I decided to finish my jog and go into the park to take a closer look. By now, there were several more pieces and all had plaques. In addition to the artists’ name and the title of the piece, each indicated this was a Flux Art Fair.

Flux Art Fair Harlem

Golem, 2013 Jordan Baker-Caldwell

According to their website, Flux Art Fair “embodies Harlem’s creative spirit and cultural significance” and is a collaboration with NYC Parks, NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.

Flux Public Art Project, Harlem

Urban Structure, Kurt Steger

Flux Art Project Harlem

Sprout, Sui Park

Flux Public Art Project, Harlem

Big Head (Harlem Rose), Montserrat Daubon

Flux Art Project Harlem

Surge, Lucy Hodgson

Flux Public Art Project, Harlem

Bed of Flowers, Leah Pollar

Located in the Mount Morris area of Central Harlem, Marcus Garvey Park is bounded on the north by 124th Street, on the south by 120th Street, on the east by Madison Avenue and by Mount Morris Park West (Fifth Avenue). The park was previously called Mount Morris Park.

Flux Public Art Project Harlem

The Odyssey, 2016, Stan Squirewell

Flux Art Fair Harlem

Trompe l’oeil, 2016, Capucine Bourcart

Flux Art Fair features work by over 40 artists. Most will be on display at Marcus Garvey Park until May 31st. According to their plaques, Big Head (Harlem Rose), Surge, Sculpture Love, Outdoor Indoor, The Odyssey and (E)scape – New Faces will remain until August 1, 2016. The exhibition is free, however there are several paid events around Harlem, including talks on May 21 and 22 and a family brunch.

What do you think is the value of public art?

Linking this week with Travel Photo Thursday which Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Jan at Budget Travel Talk, Ruth at Tanama Tales and Rachel at Rachel’s Ruminations host. Be sure to stop by to view other photos from locations around the world.

Budget Travelers Sandbox

The Red Telephone Booth

The red telephone booth was ubiquitous in the Jamaica I grew up in. You’d find them outside post offices in districts and towns across the island. There was one outside our post office too. It stood like a sentinel at the intersection of the two main roads that dissected our district, looking square at the Anglican Church on the opposite side. To its right were the parish council office, shops, a movie theater, gas station and the market that was active from Thursday to Saturday and where we Anglicans had our annual Maypole Dance.

The phone in the red telephone booth was our district’s only connection to the world where it had sent scores of its children – to the ‘Big War’ (World War II), to England, Canada, the United States and beyond.

Iconic Red Phone Booths

Red Telephone Booths, near Burlington Gardens, London

When the phone in the red telephone booth rang, anyone nearby would answer, ask the caller to call back at an agreed upon time then rush (or send someone else) to deliver the news to the family. (One of the good things about a small community is that everyone knows everyone.)

To make a call, you gave the operator the number and she (it was mostly young women) would place the call for you and tell you how much to deposit into the coin slot for the first 3 minutes. Public phones took only coins then so you had to have a pocketful in case you exceeded the time. If you were calling a private number, you would tell the operator to ‘reverse the charges,’ that is, have the person on the other end pay for the call.

Because it was illuminated, the red telephone booth attracted moths and young people – and some older folks too. During the rainy season, children (as many as possible) would cram themselves into the booth to wait out the rain. It was near the phone booth that my first boyfriend broke up with me on a Sunday afternoon after church. I was devastated and convinced that my world had ended.

Red telephone booths, London

My cousin in a telephone booth in London. Notice the homeless man?

I never thought much of the red phone booth beyond its use as a means of communication until I saw one in the Cotswolds that had been repurposed as a defibrillator. I wondered what had happened to the booth that had occupied such a prominent spot in our district and our lives.  

A little research on Google revealed that the red telephone booth was the creation of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect who also designed Waterloo Bridge. There were several versions over the years and even the red color, BS381C-B539, was defined. The design, or an adaptation, was exported to the colonies, which is how they got to Jamaica.

Repurposed red telephone booth, The Cotswolds

Repurposed red telephone booth, The Cotswolds

Our telephone booths had 4 large panes of thick, clear glass on each side that were framed by red strips. They were not soundproof so people nearby could hear your conversation if you were a loud talker and during the day, they got quite hot.  

I don’t know when the red telephone booth was removed (it was still there in the 1980s when I took a photo of it), but it sure occupies a special place in my memory.

 

Linking with Travel Photo Thursday and The Weekly Postcard.

Budget Travelers Sandbox
 
A Hole In My Shoe