gelatoIf childhood memories of bathing in swimsuits and dodging humidity taught us anything, it’s that a sweet treat is the perfect ending to a hot summer day. Delectable parings of sweet and savory can be found in specialty desserts of cuisines from around the world, but many diners don’t know what to order beyond cakes and pies.

Next time you visit a new restaurant, consider staying away from your standard cheesecake or apple pie and trying out their dessert specialty.  We bet you’ll like what you find!  To help you along the way, we’ve compiled our top 5 desserts from around the world – always a good choice for braving the heat, savoring the sun, and enjoying the summer.

Here’s to making new summer memories while devouring old favorites!

Gelato began in ancient Rome, where local Italians would haul ice down from the mountains and store it underground. Presently, there are over 5,000 gelato shops in Italy and more than 15,000 gelato shops around the world. Gelato uses ingredients similar to the ice cream production process, but the secret to it’s luxuriously rich flavors and texture comes from the quality of milk used.
Look for this on tasty dessert on many Italian restaurant menus for a quick after meal treat.

Berry Cobbler

Berry Cobbler

Cobbler has become part of the Southern American lifestyle and is deeply rooted in it’s history. Berry Cobblers can include fresh fruit fillings like berries, peaches, and apples and have become a staple at summer festivals and other family gatherings. The warm berries and  buttery crust add a burst of flavor and color to any BBQ dish.
Look for this American inspired delicacy on BBQ menus for a sweet pairing to a savory dish.

Sopapillas are a delicious, deep-fried, and sweet dessert, popular in New Mexico and parts of South America. The perfect mouth-watering treat, they are often filled with meat, cheese, or sweet berries and come topped with honey, caramel, or sugar. The flaky, fried doughy layer compliments the light crispy sugar coating on the outside making this dish one-of-a-kind.
Look for this pastry on many Tex-Mex or Mexican restaurant menus for a sweet, pocket of perfection.

Shaved ice, also known as the sno-cone,  has many names, including delicious! This traditional Japanese and Hawaiian dessert uses blocks of ice to create ice shavings that allow flavorings drizzled on top to become quickly absorbed within the ice- giving it a sweet flavor. Many traditional flavorings include guava, pineapple, coconut milk, and other tropical flavors found locally. Today, sno-cones are usually flavored by sweet syrups, rather than fruit-based flavorings but are still just as tasty!
For a more traditional shaved ice, add a scoop of ice cream to the top and pour some condensed milk to punch up the sweetness.

Granitas are similar to shaved ice but are a sweet, frozen Italian dessert that is made from simploy water, sugar and the flavor of your choice. This Sicilian treat has a texture that is similar to sorbet, but more coarse. Granitas can be topped with everything from coffee, tea, lemonade and fresh fruit.  Try a seasonal flavors like watermelon or pineapple, or sweeten things with a chocolate cherry fudge granita. 

Sticky Rice is a South Asian specialty and has been adapted and added to various dishes along the islands to create dessert variations including mochi in Japan, kue lapis in Indonesiad, and khao niao mamuang in Thailand. By adding coconut cream, fruit, and sugar, tasty cakes and other popular desserts are created and consumed all year long.
Look for these popular Asian desserts on many sushi and thai restaurants menus for a taste of something international.