01 July 2021

Celebrate a Special Family Occasion With Traditional Sweets


Food is always a big part of any celebration, no matter where you live in the world. Whenever special occasions come around, the first thing that comes to your mind might be all the delicious food that you and your family are going to eat together. In certain parts of the world, for instance, during Halloween, lots of people are fond of eating wholesale USA sweets & American candy or even go trick-or-treating with them.  


In a way, it’s not hard to figure out why sweet treats like TwoHues and other hard candy are staples during special get-togethers. They’re easy to get hold of, and kids definitely love them! But those are not the only kinds of sweets that are consumed during such occasions. All over the world, people also love to celebrate by indulging in their respective country’s traditional sweets.  


Let’s go on a virtual tour around the world with this feature on the traditional sweets of some countries that are commonly eaten during holidays and special celebrations.  


Spain: Rosca de  Reyes 


This pastry is traditionally eaten during Kings’ Day celebrations, which falls on January 6, to commemorate the arrival of the three wise men in the Nativity story.  Aside from the dried and candied fruits that are put in the cake, the baker also usually hides either a small figurine of the baby Jesus or a coin in the cake. The person who finds the said trinket is said to enjoy good luck in the coming year. The reasoning behind such tradition is to commemorate how Jesus escaped King Herod’s evil plans of killing all babies born at that time who could be the foretold Messiah.   


Philippines: Bibingka  


This is a rice cake that’s usually enjoyed during the Christmas season in the Philippines. This largely Catholic country has made it an annual tradition to flock to churches for nine consecutive nights before Christmas Eve to celebrate “Simbang Gabi,” or Midnight Mass. After such masses, people then troop to stalls outside the church that serve these delicacies made of coconut milk, rice flour, eggs, sugar, and baking powder. Although there are modern versions of this dessert cooked in ordinary tin pans or cake molds, many people still prefer the traditional version that has been cooked in traditional clay pot ovens lined with banana leaves, as it has more of an aroma.  


Australia: Pavlova 


Similar to a meringue in fluffiness and lightness, Pavlova’s unique feature is its crunchy outer shell and soft center, which is due to the fact that it has cornflour in it. As you can probably guess from its name, it was named after Anna Pavlova, the famous Russian ballerina, who toured Australia in 1926. This dessert is usually served during holidays and as part of the celebratory meal during special occasions. It is typically garnished with whipped cream and fresh fruits. 


Czech Republic: Kolache  


Although the kolache is considered the Czech Republic’s native food, it has also become quite popular in the United States as a less sweet alternative to sugar-rich desserts. The reason why it’s commonly seen as a healthier option is because of its filling consisting of bits of fruits like apples, pineapples, prunes, poppyseed, and apricots. This delicious fruity filling is surrounded by a supple, puffy pillow of dough. In some cases, though, the fruits are swapped out for bits of sausages, jalapenos, and cheese to create a dessert that’s more savory than on the sweet side.  


Turkey: Asure  


Also called Noah’s Pudding, asure is a Turkish dessert consisting of nuts, fruits, and grains. It is eaten in commemoration of the biblical story of Noah and that time when his ark landed on solid ground after the Great Flood. It is meant to celebrate the special bond between families, neighbors, and friends regardless of belief systems, religions, or social backgrounds. The legend behind this practice is that when Noah was about to run out of food for himself, his family, and the animals on his ark, he got together all the ingredients that were left and cooked them altogether so as to feed everyone. This pudding is enjoyed during the tenth day of the first lunar month, which is the first holiday of the Islamic year.  


India: Gulab Jamun 


If there’s one dessert that’s a common feature during many Indian festivals and holidays, it’s the gulab jamun. This is a deep-fried dessert made out of dough that has been soaked in sugar syrup and flavored with rosewater, saffron, and cardamom seeds. Whenever an Indian celebrates a birthday or marriage, he or she is bound to serve gulab jamun at the celebratory dinner. It’s so popular that even during Diwali, which is the Festival of Lights for India, this dessert remains to be part of the menu.  


Korea: Tteok  


Asians truly are fond of their rice cakes! Korea is another country that has its own version of this dessert made with glutinous rice flour—tteok, pronounced “duk.” This treat is a common sight during celebrations such as weddings and birthdays, and this practice of partaking of this dessert during special occasions has been a part of Korean culture since over 2,000 years ago. Indeed, Koreans are serious about their rice cakes, and this can be seen from the fact that there are over 200 varieties of it, despite there being only four basic preparation methods: frying, boiling, pounding, and steaming. They’ve even created an actual museum for their tteok, which is where tourists and visitors can learn about the rich history and tradition behind the nation’s favorite dessert.  


Italy: Panforte 


Italy’s panforte is a lot like the usual Christmas fruitcake. Like the latter, it’s packed with nuts and fruits, but it has a special Italian twist to it. The chewy cake is also made from sugar that’s been dissolved in honey before all the other ingredients get mixed in along with the flour. This dessert is said to have a unique aromatic flavor, and it is usually enjoyed during the Christmas season. It is said that the panforte was paid to Italian nuns or monks as a form of tithe or tax in the past.  

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