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10 desserts kids eat around the world (and none of them are chocolate!)

 

Who doesn’t love a delicious sweet treat after a good meal? Here’s a list of interesting desserts that kids enjoy in different countries around the globe. Next time you see these in a store or restaurant, give them a try!

Baklava — Turkey

piece of baklava on a plate

Baklava (say "bok-luh-vah") is made of many layers of thin, paper-like, pastry called phyllo, which is filled with chopped nuts (walnuts, pistachios and sometimes hazelnuts). The filling and pastry are soaked with a sugary syrup or honey which helps to hold it all together and make it sweet, chewy and delicious!

Dango — Japan

3 skewers of dessert dumplings

Dango (say "don-go") is a type of Japanese dumpling made from rice flour. The flour from the rice is worked into a chewy paste, made into balls and put on skewers. Sometimes they are roasted or grilled and covered in a sticky, sweet and salty soy sauce. There are also multi-coloured dango made with sweet red bean paste, green tea and yellow egg yolks. Chewy, Japanese marshmallowy goodness!

Pastel de Nata — Portugal

custard on a plate

These rich and creamy tarts from Portugal are made with a pastry shell and filled with custard made of egg yolks. Pastel de nata means custard or egg tart. They are best served warm out of the oven with cinnamon and icing sugar. Yes please!

Dragon’s Beard Candy — China

several dragon's beard candy on a plate

Photo by Alexa Clark licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

Dragon’s beard candy is kind of like cotton candy but is more powdery and has less sugar. It’s carefully pulled by hand and should be eaten right away after it’s made. The soft cocoon-like outside is wrapped around a sweet filling made of peanuts, coconut and sesame seeds. Yum!

Gulab Jamun — India

balls of gulab jumun loaded on a plate

Think of gulab jamun (say "GOO-lahb JAH-man") as India’s version of Timbits except these sweets are made with curdled milk, fried with butter and soaked in syrup. The syrup is spiced with traditional Indian flavours like cardamom, rosewater and saffron. Different versions of this dessert have become popular in many other places around the world!

Mango Sticky Rice — Thailand

plate of mango sticky rice

Mango sticky rice is like a rice pudding made with sticky rice soaked in a sweet coconut milk sauce. The creamy coconutty rice is served beside a fresh mango. The tartness of the mango goes very well with the sweet, rich rice. Mango-nificent!

Pavlova — Australia/New Zealand

pavlova cake on a stand

Pavlova is a light and airy dessert made with egg whites and icing sugar to create a crusty meringue and is then covered in different fruits (strawberry, blueberry, kiwi, passion fruit) and whipped cream. There is an ongoing debate on whether Pavlova originally came from Australia or New Zealand so let’s just say it’s from both places. The dessert is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova because it is light as air like her sweet ballet dance moves!

Halo-halo — Philippines

glass sundae cup of halo-halo

Photo credit: joey.parsons via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND

There are many ingredients that can make up a halo-halo (say "hah-low hah-low") but they usually include shaved ice, sweetened milk and coconut. Then you can add many different things into the mix such as: boiled sweetened kidney beans and chickpeas; fruit jelly; purple yam; tapioca; jackfruit; and ice cream — just to name a few.

Skyr — Iceland

little glass jar of yogurt and jam

Photo credit: Anosmia via Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

Skyr (say "skeer") is very similar to yogurt but has a less sour taste and can be healthier. Imagine that — a healthy dessert! People in Iceland eat skyr with milk, fresh fruit and berries and a sprinkle of sugar.  It has been around for over a thousand years!

Dadar Gulung — Indonesia

table setting with plate of rolled dadar gulung pancakes

Dadar gulung (say "dah-daar goo-loong") means “rolled pancake” in Indonesian. That is pretty much what this is — a rolled, green, thin pancake or crepe filled with a mixture of shredded coconut, salt, cinnamon and palm sugar. The pancake gets its green colour from a paste made from the leaves of the pandan palm tree!