Latin America

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Latin America has essentially orderly, solid traditions of sweets that speak to the people’s love of habit, not novelty. There is a soothing, reassuring stability in Latin American sweets that is also sensuous and magical.

For Latin Americans—who crave flavorful savory foods built in layers; who welcome the sting of hot peppers, the acid touch of citrus juices or vinegar, and the bite of raw onions in table condiments; and who seek vivid contrast between salty, sweet, bitter, acid, and the savory sensation of umami—dessert (postre) is meant to put a calming end to the sensory ride that is the Latin meal. Latin Americans are assertive in their savory cooking, and subtle, often minimalist, when making sweets and desserts.