Category Archives: Dessert

Desserts from Taiwan

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Taiwanese Desserts with I Wen, AAG SEVIS Coordinator

A few of my favorite desserts from Taiwan. Just looking at them makes me hungry and homesick!

Peanut and ice cream wrap or "hua shen bing"

Peanut and ice cream wrap or "hua shen bing"

In Taiwan, most of locals are huge fans of tasty and special cuisine, it is said that there is a snack shop every three steps and a restaurant every five.

Egg Tarts from KFC

Egg Tarts from KFC

"Tang yuan"- filled with sesame paste and bathed in a rice wine soup

A gelatinous dessert "Tang yuan"- filled with sesame paste and bathed in a rice wine soup

Mango Shaved Ice

Mango Shaved Ice

Crushed ice or shaved ice is very popular in Taiwan. The principle is simple – fresh fruits, sweet syrup, condensed milk, and you have this refreshing, cold treat above. They are perfect for hot summer days.

Almond milk shaved ice and almond tofu pudding at Yu's Almond Tofu

Almond milk shaved ice and almond tofu pudding at Yu's Almond Tofu

The capital of Taiwan, Taipei, is a heaven for sugar lovers.

Argentina

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Argentina with Francesca, AIDE Abroad’s Executive Director

Facturas can be found on every street corner with tempting window sight of panaderia, a bakery

Facturas can be found on almost every street corner with tempting panaderia (bakery) windows displaying a vast selection

Before I studied abroad in Argentina, I anticipated consuming lots of steak and wine, two items for which the country is world renowned. I even knew about alfajores, a traditional dulce de leche sandwich cookie confection, but thought they were a bit sweet. I never imagined I would be torn between French and Argentine pastries!

It wasn’t long after I arrived, when my group made the 24-hour bus trip from Buenos Aires to San Martin de los Andes in Patagonia, that I came to discover the medialuna. After being cramped in a bus for most of the previous day and overnight, we stopped for an early breakfast in the foothills of the Andes. Breakfast was simple: strong, steaming coffee served in metal pots, and heavenly half-moon shaped pastries known as “medialunas”. They were fresh, still warm, and light. I wondered, out loud, how many people eat.  One? It didn’t seem enough. Two? Was that too many? My Resident Director knew!  “Most people eat one,” he told me, “but “los gordos” eat two.”  Despite the warning, I soon ate two, and spent the rest of my time in Argentina sampling a wide range of medialunas and other facturas. Who knew a country so famous for its beef and wine could also compete with their divine pastries?

I have managed to find spots in the US that specialize in facturas argentinas. When lived in Miami, I frequented the Buenos Aires Bakery and Café, and here in Austin the Buenos Aires Café also offers a selection of facturas that can cure any cravings.

Factura Selection

Factura selection

Factura is the generic name given to a delicious collection of Argentinean sweet pastries. Some of these facturas are of European origin. Facturas come in different shapes and with a wide variety of fillings.

Facturas are generally eaten for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack between 17:00 and 20:00, but are not considered a dessert.

The most common factura is the medialuna, which literally translates as “half-moon”

The most common factura is the medialuna, which literally translates as “half-moon”