Sweet desserts have existed since the beginning of mankind. It is now enjoyed by people throughout the world in variety of flavors. In the past, only the affluent society folk could afford it while the ordinary people could only enjoy it on special occasions. Advancement of sugar production allowed its more extensive spread and at much more affordable prices to customers. People enjoyed desserts worldwide because of the increased supply of sugar.
Desserts are thought to have originated from a custom to remove the aftertaste of a meal with a sweet taste as they leave the mouth with a sweet flavor. The name confection is derived from a French word 'desservir' which means to clear the table. Thousands of dessert varieties exist today. Ice cream, cakes and pies are some of the popular desserts that have been present around since ancient times.
The origin of ice cream dates back around the 4th century BC, the Roman emperor Nero had ordered his followers to gather ice and add fruit toppings for his dessert. A Chinese king named Tang developed an early form of ice cream by combination of milk and ice. Ice cream was brought back by traders to Europe. Ice cream continued to evolve during history and recipes were soon developed for serving the French and Italian aristocracy.
Ice cream was introduced in America in 1700s. Many states offered ice cream as a dessert. It was served to guests by distinguished figures like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Dolly Madison. A caterer from London advertised in a New York paper in 1774 announcing his intentions to sell ice cream in his stores.
The word 'cake' is derived from an old word 'kaka'. The first use of word 'cake' was documented by the Oxford English Dictionary in the 13th century. Cakes eaten in ancient times were very different than today. Early cakes resembled with bread and honey and flavored with dried fruit and nuts. Early Egyptians were the first who used advanced methods in baking. Medieval Europe baked gingerbreads and fruitcakes as desserts. Advancements in baking and availability of cooking ingredients helped in the development of cakes. Round cakes with icing resembling with today's cakes were introduced in the mid 17th century. Modern cakes with baking powder and white flour were used for the first time in the 19th century.
Pies originated as dessert in Neolithic Period in 9500 BC. They were known as galettes which contained honey and different grains, it was baked on hot coals. The origin of pastry was an addition of bakers fruit, honey and nuts for serving the pharaoh. Drawings relating to this practice are decorated on the tomb of King Ramses II. Changes often occurred in the making of pie because of different ingredients and conditions.
Pie recipes were brought by Pilgrim women to America which was used by the Native Americans. A tradition of using round pans for pies were started was started by colonial women. Pies became a part of American culture in the 1700s as it was served as desert by pioneer women. Apple pie became a popular evening dessert for the American children.A Short History of Desserts