Have a sweet tooth and want to try desserts from around the world without leaving the UAE? Then, it's time to head to the Global Village in Dubai, a multi-cultural theme park featuring many pavillions of different countries showcasing their food and traditions. The churros, mini pancakes, and crepes at the Global village are quite popular among visitors, but we bring you a pick of seven other desserts that you must not miss this season.
1. Luqaimat from UAE
Luqaimat is a popular Middle Eastern dessert consisting of deep-fried balls of pastry, which are then covered with date syrup or honey. It is an Arabic dessert that is popular in most Khaleeji homes. Crunchy outside, yet airy and soft on the inside, luqaimat is a festive treat across the Gulf region.
The dessert is traditionally made in the month of Ramadan, and consumed after iftar, or while ending the fast. Across the Global Village, you will spot various Luqaimat kiosks. Here, the dessert is freshly made by women sitting in front of big skillets frying the dough balls, which are then served piping hot (Be careful, if you plan to immediatedly stuff that golden brown dumpling in your mouth).
Price: Dh11 for a small portion, Dh15 for a big portion
2. Bingsu from Korea
Bingsu is a popular Korean dessert made with shaved ice with sweet toppings that may include chopped fruit, frozen and shaved condensed milk, fruit syrup, and red beans.
The food originally began as ice shavings with red bean paste and was called pat, in the Korean language. The dessert where the main ingredient is red bean paste is called Patbingsu, while varieties made with fruits are called bingsu.
3. Japanese wheel cake and taiyaki
Imagawayaki or the Japanese wheel cake is a dessert often found at Japanese festivals. It is made of batter in a special pan (similar to a waffle iron) and is traditionally filled with sweet azuki bean paste. However, at Global Village, at a shop named Custaphoria, you will find two fillings, custard, and Nutella.
The shop also serves freshly-made taiyaki, a fish-shaped pastry that is particularly popular in winter on Korea's streets. Again, while the most common filling traditionally is red bean paste made from sweetened azuki beans, at Global Village, the two available fillings are custard and Nutella. Taiyaki is also made with fillings of cheese, or sweet potato, in Korea.
Price: Dh25 per plate
4. Thai tender coconut with ice cream
This dessert is different. It's made using tender coconut brought straight from farms in Thailand. First, the coconut water is extracted into a glass. And then, the supple tender coconut meat is scraped out and served in the coconut shell, along with a giant scoop of ice cream.
5. Sticky rice with mango and coconut from the Philippines
Mango sticky rice is a traditional Filipino dessert made with glutinous rice, fresh mango, coconut milk, sugar, and salt served warm or at room temperature. Even though this is not really mango season, you will be surprised to find soft, juicy, and sweet mangoes at this stall at the Floating Market. Mango lovers must definitely try this dish!
6. Watermelon ice cream in a slice of watermelon
This dessert is made "for the gram". The giant soft-serve ice cream served in a big slice of the fruit, with chocolate chips replacing the seeds, is a hit among youngsters. Before it is devoured, people often stop to click a picture of it. You will find other varieties such as mango and coconut.
At the Japanese pavillion, many people queue up to buy this colourful sweet dish. Mochi ice cream is made from Japanese mochi (pounded sticky rice) with an ice cream filling. While it might look like a frozen dumpling, it tastes entirely different.
Do you have a favourite dessert or sweet dish at the Global Village? Tell us on firstname.lastname@example.org