Iconic Chocolate Dishes from Around the World

Everyone loves dessert. In a world full of so many different people and cultures, the love of sweets is a constant that runs through all societies and age groups. Though the recipes may change, there is one thing that most desserts have in common: chocolate. No matter where you are in the world, chances are that you’ll be able to find some sort of chocolatey treat to try. Check out these iconic chocolate dishes from around the world.

Kladdkaka

Photo of a chocolate cake with raspberries
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This gooey chocolate treat is the most popular cake in Sweden. It uses minimal flour and is deliberately undercooked so that the center remains almost runny. Kladdkaka literally translates into “sticky cake.” It is a common snack to have during a Fika break, which is a coffee break taken several times per day, and can be found in just about any restaurant, bakery, or coffeehouse in Sweden. Serve topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and/or ice cream.

Nama Chocolate

Photo of nama chocolate cut into squares
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One of the newer creations on the list, nama chocolate was invented in 1995 and has quickly grown into a staple of Japanese culture. It uses fresh cream and a high percentage of cocoa, sometimes up to 70%, giving it a thick, smooth texture and rich flavor. Some variations include liqueur. Because of the dairy content, nama chocolate must be refrigerated and is best if eaten within four days.

Nama chocolate was invented by the Japanese company ROYCE with the official recipe still a well-guarded secret. Until recently, nama could be found only in Japan. In 2012, ROYCE opened its first store in the United States, in New York City. Of course, that doesn’t stop others from coming up with copycat recipes if you’d like to try it from home.

Bicèrin

Photo of an espresso beverage being poured into a small glasss
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Because liquid chocolate is just as good as the solid form, bicèrin, also called bavarèisa torinese, is a specialty chocolate drink from Torino, Italy. It is made of three separate layers of espresso, hot chocolate and whipped milk or cream. It is always served in a small, round glass called a bicèrin (which literally translates to “small glass”), hence the name.

This delicious chocolate drink has been in existence since 1704 and was invented in the Caffè al Bicerin, which is still open today.

Brigadeiro

Photo of brigadeiro desserts on a plate
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Brigadeiros are small, cupcake-like treats made from sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles. They have been the most popular sweet treat in Brazil since the 1940s. They also have one of the most interesting backstories of any dessert:

In 1945, Eduardo Gomes, a war hero who was known as “the Brigadeiro” for the rank he achieved in the military, was running for president. He was very popular with women because he was single and very, very good looking. Seriously. One of his official campaign slogans was “Vote for the Brigadeiro, who’s good-looking and single.” His female fan base created the dessert to lure people to his campaign rallies, and the Brigadeiro was born! Unfortunately, Gomes lost the election, but his name lives on in this little chocolate delicacy.

Churros con Chocolate

Photo of churros with a cup of chocolate sauce
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Everyone knows what churros are. The fried pastries loaded with cinnamon and sugar are popular in many countries and can be found at food festivals, carnivals, and state fairs all over the United States. But what you may not have known is that if a churro is prepared the “correct” way, as they do in Spain and Portugal, it comes with a side of delicious chocolate dipping sauce.

It’s still up for debate who officially invented the churro, but Spanish explorers are credited with spreading the great idea throughout every port in the new world, and we thank them for that.

Whoopie Pie

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If you have not heard of whoopie pies, you probably don’t live on the East Coast of the United States. Whoopie pies are two round pieces of chocolate cake with frosting between them. Sometimes gingerbread or pumpkin cake is used.

While they are the official state treat of Maine, there has been a long-standing debate on where they were invented. Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania all claim to be the rightful birthplace of the whoopie pie, and none of them seems to want to want credit for this delicious American treat. While they are immensely popular on the East Coast, they are slowly making their way across the country.

Cover image credit: nerudol / iStock

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