Classic American summer dessert.Summer: beach, strawberry shortcake, vacation, key lime pie, pool, ice cream sundaes, sandals, peach cobbler. Can you tell what’s been on our mind?

If you’re like us, you love yourself some summertime treats.  And luckily for us there is no shortage of them.  Cakes, pies, brownies, puddings, pastries… no matter what your mood (fudgy, fruity, jiggly, juicy) there’s a decadent dessert to satisfy your warm weather cravings.

Occasionally though (it is important to note occasionally!) the classics just don’t cut it.  Sure they’re delicious, decadent, refreshing and everything in between, but we can’t blame your taste buds for wanting a new adventure.  When those cravings come a knocking, there’s only one thing to do: go abroad!

From Turkey’s breathtaking baklava to the Netherlands healthy (yes it’s true!) hangop, there are endless ways to satisfy summer’s daring dessert desires.  So sit back, relax and dig in!

Kulfi.

Kulfi
If you like old-fashioned custard-style ice cream, you’ll love kulfi (also known as qulfi).  A summertime favorite on the Indian subcontinent, kulfi is a thicker, creamier version of the ice cream we’re used to.  Rest assured it’s just as delicious.

While often a hint of caramelized sugar can be tasted in kulfi due to its long, slow cooking process, other flavors are abundant.  Cream, raspberry, rose, mango, cardamom, saffron and pistachio are just a start.  If you’re feeling crazy, mix in dried fruits or nuts.

 

Hangop.

Hangop
Hangop, which literally means to “hang up,” is an old-fashioned Dutch dairy dessert made with yogurt or buttermilk.  Left to drain hanging in a towel over a colander, the whey is withdrawn and the remainder of the milk becomes this thick, creamy dessert.  You can sweeten it with sugar or honey or leave it as it: tangy as can be! Throw in some fruit and ta-da.  Delicious and nutritious!

 

Pavlova.

Pavlova
This famous dessert will bring delight to any sweet tooth.  Comprised of a light crunchy meringue base, piled high with fluffy whipped cream and scattered with handfuls of fruit, pavlova is as light as it is heavenly.

This majestic summer dessert takes its name from the world-renowned Russian ballerina Anna Matveyevna Pavlova.  Born in 1881, Pavlova toured the world extensively, but it was her visit to New Zealand and Australia in 1926 that inspired this treat.  To this day, debate continues as to which of these two countries celebrated her visit by creating pavlova.  Regardless of who it was (the popular belief is New Zealand) we hope you will still indulge!  While it is a dessert most identified with summer, it is eaten all year round down under.

 

Baklava.Baklava
The exact origin of baklava is hard to pinpoint because nearly every Middle Eastern ethnic group has laid claim to this palatable pastry.  And let’s be honest, we understand why: rich with layers of phyllo dough, baklava is stuffed with nuts and aromatic spices and drenched in sweet syrup and honey.  The earliest known baklava was baked only on special occasions and was in fact considered a dessert of nobility until the mid-19th century.  So, if you want you’re feeling like a million bucks, dig in!

 

TiramisuTiramisu.
The darling dessert of the Italians, tiramisu is the perfect pick me up after good meal.  There are many stories about the origins of this dessert, but the general consensus is that it’s from Tuscany where “Zuppa Inglese” or English Soup is very popular.  Contrary to what you make think, this dish is neither English nor soup, but a cake of ladyfingers soaked in liquor and layered with chocolate and egg custard.

While we aren’t historians, we do know a thing or two about food.  The brilliance of this dessert lies in its ingredients; the flavor combination of coffee, mascarpone and chocolate is the real secret (not the layering technique!).  While the classic remains the all-time favorite, berries make for a salacious summertime twist.

 

What other classic summer desserts find their origins abroad?  Do you have a favorite?  Share your thoughts below!