The History of Dessert

Chinese_desserts4e53c0801a52853886c6

It’s a new book about the role sweets have played in shaping society:

 The history of dessert is tortuous and elusive. It involves transmigration and cross-fertilization of cultures, fashion and the forging of national identity, economic, social, and gender relations, advances in communication, technology and chemistry, and is strewn throughout with myth and curious by-blows.

The rest of the review is here.

The author makes a special note of the refinement of sugarcane, which was the basis for modern desserts and important for developing the slave trade. 

The practice started in India, and then gradually spread through the Middle East and into Europe. Desserts spread in the same way cultures and languages do, so most sweets have a complex etymology with a lot of history embedded in them.

He also comes down hard on American use of sugar, which he dubs “The Culinary Industrial Complex”, and believes is responsible for the commoditization of dessert. He says Americans had very little culinary traditions when sugarcane was introduced to them, which caused us to exert our culinary resources figuring out ways to process and ship sweets instead of refining them.

1 thought on “The History of Dessert”

  1. The history of desserts and its Indian connection is an absolutely surprising fact for me. Indian sweets and desserts are very popular in the world, but I was never aware of the fact that they originated in India.

    Like

Leave a Reply to Sreenath PG Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s