Southeast Asia

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Southeast Asia, a region of subtropical and tropical environments, includes the Philippines, Indonesia, East Timor, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma (also known as Myanmar). In addition, some of the peoples living in China’s Yunnan province near the border with Burma and Laos have closer cultural and culinary connections to Southeast Asia than to the rest of China. In most of the region, fruit is the main sweet treat. Prepared sweets, mostly the preserve of specialized cooks rather than made by home cooks, are eaten as a snack or treat rather than as the last sweet course in a meal.