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Around the world in 80 desserts

Aug. 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM ET

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Po'e is a Tahitian fruit pudding that uses bananas, brown sugar, vanilla and coconut cream.

From crumbly cakes like sfouf from Lebanon to tasty milk tarts from South Africa, sweet treats served at the end of a meal are the incentive for kids to eat their vegetables, the Achilles’ heel for most dieters, and the go-to fix for those with sugar addictions.

Slideshow: See desserts from around the world

So The Daily Meal has gone around the world to delve into the different variations of delicious dessert delights across the globe, and tell you where to try them. For travelers craving something sweet, here is a gastronomic guide through the sugars, syrups and spices of the world's scrumptious signature treats.

We've covered six continents’ worth of cakes, cookies and custards heavenly enough to make any diner loosen his or her belt and satisfy any sweet tooth.

Get the inside scoop on the history of American apple pie, New Zealand's favorite ice cream flavor, and where in the world soup is on the dessert menu. Savor the flavors of nutty phyllo pastries in Turkey and rich gooey puddings in Great Britain.

Whatever dish captivates you, these mouthwatering desserts promise to submerge your taste buds in a candied and caramelized culinary wonderland sure to induce a sweet delirium.

Chocolate soufflé with Grand Marnier (France)
Chocolate soufflé is a decadent and time-honored dessert in France. Chocolate soufflé is a lightly baked cake comprised of egg yolks, beaten egg whites, sugar and a gooey chocolate interior. The dessert has a reputation for being notoriously difficult to execute, as the dish has to be served immediately to prevent the soufflé from dropping and becoming dense.

In France, the soufflé is often infused with Grand Marnier, an orange liqueur that accents the richness of the chocolate with a citrusy flavor.

Where to try chocolate soufflé: Le Soufflé, Paris, France

Quindim (Brazil)
Quindim is a signature Brazilian dessert with a bright yellow color, glistening surface and a custard consistency similar to flan. The recipe for quindim includes ingredients like coconut, sugar, butter and egg yolks, which give the dish its distinctive color.

The origins of the dessert are said to be rooted in Portuguese cuisine, which often incorporates a substantial number of egg yolks in its recipes. In the 17th century, quindim was modified by slaves in the Bahia region of Brazil to include coconut, which is readily found in the region.

Where to try quindim: Benito Quindim, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Apple pie (United States)
Apple pie is heralded as the quintessential American dessert, serving as a culinary symbol of the nation's prosperity and pride in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Apple pie consists of a pastry pie crust and an apple filling often seasoned with nutmeg or cinnamon. The pie takes about an hour in the oven to bake.

Interestingly, apple pie-making does not originate from the United States, but rather it was a concept brought over by the Pilgrims from England, where the pies were made with unsweetened apples covered by an inedible shell. Eventually, the recipe developed into the well-known dessert enjoyed today.

Where to try apple pie: Apple Pie Bakery Café, Hyde Park, New York

Gelato (Italy)
Gelato differs from ice cream in its flavor and texture. The frozen dessert is made with milk as opposed to cream, which gives the dish a lower fat content, and has less air whipped into it than ice cream, making it denser and often more intense in flavor.

Gelato is an Italian term that means "frozen." The history of the dessert is rooted in 16th century Italy, where according to many accounts, a Florentine named Bernardo Buontalenti presented his gelato creation to the royal court of Caterina dei Medici.

Where to try gelato: Gelateria Veneta, Lucca, Italy

Galub jamun (India)
What is gulab jamun? Gulab jamun are deep-fried dough balls covered in a sugary syrup flavored with cardamom seeds, rosewater or saffron. The name of the dish is a combination of the Persian word "gulab," which means "rose" and refers to the rosewater-scented syrup used in the dish, and the Hindi word "jamun," which is a South Asian fruit.

In addition to India, the dessert is also enjoyed in countries like Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The dish is based on an Arabic dessert called luqmat al-qadi and is often served at marriages and major celebrations like the Indian Diwali festival and Muslim Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha festivals.

Where to try gulab jamun: Bengal Sweet Corner, Delhi

Check out The Daily Meal’s Around the World in 80 Desserts Pinterest board and repin your favorite desserts from around the world using #80Desserts on Pinterest and Twitter. While you’re there, tell us where you have tried the best desserts in the world.

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