Many people look forward to the dessert at the end of their meal. Therefore, every good meal will have a satisfying dessert at the end, which is true in many cultures. In Mexico there are many delightful desserts to choose from. In Mexican cuisine, one of the more popular desserts is flan. Flan is the perfect balance of texture and sweetness. At Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant, one of our more popular desserts is our flan. For those who haven’t ever tried flan before, we would like to share why it is such a beloved Mexican dessert.
When Was Flan Invented?
Flan is traditionally, a circular shaped bar that is made with a creamy custard, topped with a liquid caramel sauce and whip cream. Flan was introduced to South American when the Spanish settled back in the 1500’s. However flan is actually an ancient Roman dessert. The Romans were some of the earlier civilizations to domesticate and cultivate chickens. Chickens provided the Romans with a steady and mass supply of eggs, which allowed the eggs to be used in a number of dishes. As many people well know, eggs are the primary ingredient in flan. Flan wasn’t always a dessert. Flan was often used with fish and other meats. However, it wasn’t long before flan was eaten with honey. Once the flan was combined with the sweet honey, the dessert form of flan soared in popularity. In Rome, flan was mostly eaten with honey. Eventually, the dessert made its way to Spain where the Spanish people was then the first culture to use caramel. During the Spanish conquest and occupation of South America, they brought the caramelized flan with them. In a short period of time the flan dessert was shared throughout many regions of South America. As Mexican food is popular in North America and the Mexicans have a love for flan, most people assume that flan is a traditional Mexican dessert. However, the flan that we know today has been evolving ever since it came out of Rome.
What is Flan Made Of?
Flan is a unique dessert that is a blend of eggs and a milk custard. This mixture is poured into a round molding that has been coated with a caramelized sugar. The molding is covered and the custard is than cooked by steaming either in the oven or on the stove. When steaming the flan, the molding is submerged partly in hot water which is known as baño maria, which means water bath. After steaming the flan, it is placed in the refrigerator before removing the flan from the molding. The flan needs to be chilled for at least an hour before it is served. Afterward the flan is topped with whipped cream and served.
Flan Caramel Topping & Other Variations
Flan is most often served with the caramelized topping and whipped cream. However there are other variations of flan. Some flan is topped with Mexican vanilla, oranges, almonds, and even a chocolate flan. Other popular types of flan is the coconut, honey or cheese flans. It is also common to top flan with fresh fruit. You can never go wrong with flan and it’s many variations.