Vegan Sweets: One of the Biggest Dessert Trends in 2018

Vegan Sweets: One of the Biggest Dessert Trends in 2018

Forecasts released by the Nation’s Restaurant News (shortly NRS, the American trade publication, founded in 1967, that covers the foodservice industry, including restaurants, restaurant chains, operations, marketing, and events) says diners will see a lot more vegan desserts on their plates in 2018,as plant-based sweets are going to be the top restaurant dessert trends for the coming year. From a dairy-free cheesecake and orange syrup pud to a devilishly dark chocolate fudge cake and carroty flapjacks, this quartet of vegan sweets proves that thoughtful eating has more than its fair share of guilty pleasures. While vegan menus have been popping up all across the globe in recent years as demand for plant-based options hit record highs, desserts are often forgotten by mainstream restaurants, save for the occasional and often accidentally vegan sorbet. Vegans or those eschewing dessert ingredient staples like milk, eggs, butter, and cream for other reasons, would have to forego dessert altogether or seek it out elsewhere, like a dedicated vegan bakery. But that’s all about to change according to NRN as vegan desserts go mainstream and become a rising trend for the coming year. “I’m not 100-percent sure about the upcoming dessert menu just yet,” Washington DC-based upscale bistro DBGB executive pastry chef Kelsey Burack said, “but I do see a tropical passion fruit sorbet and coconut ice cream sundae with a fluffy whipped coconut cream on top.” Angela Garbacz, pastry chef at Nebraska-based Goldenrod Pastries, also foresees developing more vegan dessert recipes in the coming year. “I see a shift from using a lot of gums, stabilizers, and substitutes to using more whole ingredients,” Garbacz said. “For example, instead of using egg replacers in vegan...
Who brought the chocolate to Europe

Who brought the chocolate to Europe

Before you taste the irresistible Melitropon chocolate syrup sweets, let us travel back in time, to see how the inhabitants of our continent learnt about this exciting natural delight, called chocolate, which became the most beloved taste over the years for young and elders: The trip of the chocolate to Europe starts back in 1544, and since then the Mexican drink creates a passion that endures after nearly half a millennium. Europe came late to the joys of chocolate. Native to Mexico, Central and South America, cacao cultivation dates to at least 1250 B.C., according to archaeologists. Mayans grew cacao trees in their backyards and used the seeds to brew ceremonial drinks. In the fifth century, Aztecs consumed xocoatl (bitter water) flavored with vanilla and chili pepper. The highly valued bean served as currency in Aztec society. One turkey, for example, cost 100 cacao beans. As far back as 1504, Christopher Columbus may have brought cacao beans to Spain from his fourth and final voyage to the Americas. Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador who subdued Mexico with luck and pluck (and guns, germs and steel), wrote in 1519 that chocolate is “the divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food.” Cortes brought cacao beans and chocolate-brewing apparatus back to Spain when he returned in 1528. And Dominican friars who introduced native peoples to Spanish royalty in 1544 also gave chocolate to their majesties. Yet for all this, the great onrush of the continental cocoa craze is often traced to July 7, 1550, and July 7 is even gaining currency...
The Controversial Origins of Baklava

The Controversial Origins of Baklava

It’s debatable where the origins of baklava are placed. With its rich and proud history dating back to sometime between the 8th and 15th century B.C., Baklava has become a timeless tradition in Middle Eastern cultures and is now growing in popularity. Although the history of baklava is not well documented, its current form was probably developed in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. The Sultan presented trays of baklava to the Janissaries every 15th of the month of Ramadan in a ceremonial procession called the Baklava Alayı. There are three proposals for the pre-Ottoman roots of baklava: the Roman placenta cake, as developed through Byzantine cuisine, the Central Asian Turkic tradition of layered breads, or the Persian lauzinaq. The oldest (2nd century BCE) recipe that resembles a similar dessert is the honey covered baked layered-dough dessert placenta of Roman times, which Patrick Faas identifies as the origin of baklava: “The Greeks and the Turks still argue over which dishes were originally Greek and which Turkish. Baklava, for example, is claimed by both countries. Greek and Turkish cuisine both built upon the cookery of the Byzantine Empire, which was a continuation of the cooking of the Roman Empire. Roman cuisine had borrowed a great deal from the ancient Greeks, but placenta (and hence baklava) had a Latin, not a Greek, origin—please note that the conservative, anti-Greek Cato left us this recipe Baklava was reserved for the wealthy and affluent of the Middle East and was a staple during the holidays and on special occasions. Each culture infused its own influences in how it was prepared to give it its own unique taste. For instance, in Armenia, Baklava is made with cinnamon and cloves while in Greece, it is generally made...