Ashure or Noah's Pudding is a Turkish dessert porridge, made of a mixture consisting of grains, dried fruits and nuts. In Turkey it is made all the year and served during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, as the 10th of Muharrem corresponds to the Day of Ashure. Ashure is one of the limited set of Turkish desserts. One reason behind it is arguably protesting all kinds of bloodshed. Alevis in Turkey are the prominent group to promote this pudding, traditionally cooking and sharing it following the days of fasting in which they abstain from eating meat. In said battle, Hussein ibn Ali and his followers embraced martyrdom. Traditionally, Ashure is made in large quantities to commemorate the ark's landing and is distributed to friends, neighbors, classmates, among others, without regard to the recipient's religion or belief system as an offering of peace and love. Ashure was traditionally made and eaten during the colder months of the year as it is calorie rich fare, but now it is enjoyed year-round.
The word Ashure come from Arabic word Ashura Arabic: عاشوراء ʻĀshūrā’. It means tenth. In Turkish tradition, this dish is made on 10th of Muharram or after 10th of Muharram in Islamic Lunar Calendar. Not only Islamic believing, but pre-islamic believes related with some semitic stories connected by Muharram month. In Turkish, Ash represents mixed porridge, it is derived from Persian word "Ashur" meaning mixing. Evliya Çelebi defines the Ashure in his travelbook, "Ashure is a porridge that should be cooked at the tenth of Muharram." Ashure porridge does not have a single recipe, as recipes vary between families. Traditionally, it is said to have at least seven ingredients; some say at least ten ingredients in keeping with the theme of "tenth", while Alevis always use twelve. Among these are wheat, beans, chick peas, dried fruits, nuts, though there are many variants. However, many renditions add lemon peel to add depth to the pudding. Sesame seeds, pomegranate kernels, cinnamon may be used as garnish, some variations are flavored with rose water.
In most cases, it is vegan, it is one of the well-known and the most popular vegan desserts in Turkish cuisine. In anecdotal history, it is claimed that when Noah's Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, Noah's family celebrated with a special dish. Since their supplies were nearly exhausted, what was left was cooked together to form a pudding, what is now call ashure. Turkish families make ashure pudding to commemorate this event. Ashure is distributed to the poor, as well as to neighbors and relatives; the Day of Ashure is an important day in the Muslim year, corresponding to the Mosaic Yom Kippur observed by Jews, is observed by Muslims world over in honor of the prophet Moses. The Tenth of Muharrem Day of Ashura marks the end of the Battle of Karbala and is a special day of observance in Shia Islam. Among Turkish and Balkan Sufis, the ashure pudding is prepared with special prayers for health, safety and spiritual nourishment. Ashure represents many cultures' beliefs and pre-Islamic alike, therefore is celebrated to commemorate many spiritual events believed to have happened on this day.
Noah's ark came to rest and the passengers survived. The sea was divided, the nation of Israel was delivered from captivity, while the Pharaoh's army was destroyed. Jesus was raised to etc.. Martyrdom of Husayn ibn AliThe Armenian version is called anuşabur. Armenians serve it on New Year's Eve. Like ashure it may be garnished with pomegranate seeds and flavored with rose water, the pudding is shared with neighbors during the Christmas season; the festive pudding is the centerpiece of the New Year's table, decorated with dried fruits and pomegranates. Turkish author Elif Şafak has scenes involving ashure in The Flea Palace and The Bastard of Istanbul. In The Flea Palace Şafak writes, "As they boiled there on the stove, all the ingredients prattled on in unison but each in its own language," and in The Bastard of Istanbul Mustafa recalls childhood memories of eating the bowls of dessert he had been entrusted to distribute to his neighbors. Annual Noah's Pudding Day
Nutmeg is the seed or ground spice of several species of the genus Myristica. Myristica fragrans is a dark-leaved evergreen tree cultivated for two spices derived from its fruit: nutmeg, from its seed, mace, from the seed covering, it is a commercial source of an essential oil and nutmeg butter. The California nutmeg, Torreya californica, has a seed of similar appearance, but is not related to Myristica fragans, is not used as a spice. If consumed in amounts exceeding its typical use as a spice, nutmeg powder may produce allergic reactions, cause contact dermatitis, or have psychoactive effects. Although used in traditional medicine for treating various disorders, nutmeg has no known medicinal value. Nutmeg is the spice made by grinding the seed of the fragrant nutmeg tree into powder; the spice has a distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm sweet taste. The seeds are dried in the sun over a period of six to eight weeks. During this time the nutmeg shrinks away from its hard seed coat until the kernels rattle in their shells when shaken.
The shell is broken with a wooden club and the nutmegs are picked out. Dried nutmegs are grayish brown ovals with furrowed surfaces; the nutmegs are egg-shaped, about 20.5–30 mm long and 15–18 mm wide, weighing 5–10 g dried. Two other species of genus Myristica with different flavors, M. malabarica and M. argentea, are sometimes used to adulterate nutmeg as a spice. Mace is the spice made from the reddish seed covering of the nutmeg seed, its flavour is more delicate. In the processing of mace, the crimson-colored aril is removed from the nutmeg seed that it envelops and is flattened out and dried for 10 to 14 days, its color changes to pale orange, or tan. Whole dry mace consists of flat pieces—smooth and brittle—about 40 mm long; the most important commercial species is the common, true or fragrant nutmeg, Myristica fragrans, native to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia. It is cultivated on Penang Island in Malaysia, in the Caribbean in Grenada, in Kerala, a state known as Malabar in ancient writings as the hub of spice trading, in southern India.
In the 17th-century work Hortus Botanicus Malabaricus, Hendrik van Rheede records that Indians learned the usage of nutmeg from the Indonesians through ancient trade routes. Nutmeg trees are dioecious plants and asexually. Sexual propagation yields 50 % male seedlings; as there is no reliable method of determining plant sex before flowering in the sixth to eighth year, sexual reproduction bears inconsistent yields, grafting is the preferred method of propagation. Epicotyl grafting, approach grafting, patch budding have proved successful, with epicotyl grafting being the most adopted standard. Air layering is an alternative though not preferred method because of its low success rate; the first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place seven to nine years after planting, the trees reach full production after twenty years. Nutmeg and mace have similar sensory qualities, with nutmeg having a sweeter and mace a more delicate flavour. Mace is preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts.
Nutmeg is used for flavouring many dishes, nowadays is found in Western supermarkets in ground or grated form. Whole nutmeg can be ground at home using a grater designed for nutmeg. In Indonesian cuisine, nutmeg is used in various dishes in many spicy soups, such as some variant of soto, oxtail soup, sup iga and sup kambing, it is used in gravy for meat dishes, such as semur beef stew, ribs with tomato, European derived dishes such as bistik and bistik lidah. In Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used in many sweet, as well as savoury, dishes. In Kerala Malabar region, grated nutmeg is used in meat preparations and sparingly added to desserts for the flavour, it may be used in small quantities in garam masala. Ground nutmeg is smoked in India. In traditional European cuisine and mace are used in potato dishes and in processed meat products, it is commonly used in rice pudding. In Dutch cuisine, nutmeg is added to vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and string beans. Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, eggnog.
In Scotland and nutmeg are both ingredients in haggis. In Italian cuisine, nutmeg is used as part of the stuffing for many regional meat-filled dumplings like tortellini, as well as for the traditional meatloaf. Nutmeg is a common spice for pumpkin pie and in recipes for other winter squashes, such as baked acorn squash. In the Caribbean, nutmeg is used in drinks, such as the Bushwacker and Barbados rum punch, it is a sprinkle on top of the drink. The pericarp is used to make jam, or is finely sliced, cooked with sugar, crystallised to make a fragrant candy. Sliced nutmeg fruit flesh is made as manisan, either wet, seasoned in sugary syrup liquid, or dry coated with sugar, a dessert called manisan pala in Indonesia. In Penang cuisine, dried, sh
Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. The various types of sugar are derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose and galactose. "Table sugar" or "granulated sugar" refers to a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. In the body, sucrose is hydrolysed into glucose. Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants, but sucrose is concentrated in sugarcane and sugar beet, making them ideal for efficient commercial extraction to make refined sugar. Sugarcane originated in tropical Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, is known of from before 6,000 BP, sugar beet was first described in writing by Olivier de Serres and originated in southwestern and Southeast Europe along the Atlantic coasts and the Mediterranean Sea, in North Africa, Macaronesia, to Western Asia. In 2016, the combined world production of those two crops was about two billion tonnes. Other disaccharides include lactose. Longer chains of sugar molecules are called polysaccharides.
Some other chemical substances, such as glycerol and sugar alcohols, may have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugar. Sucrose is used in prepared foods, is sometimes added to commercially available beverages, may be used by people as a sweetener for foods and beverages; the average person consumes about 24 kilograms of sugar each year, or 33.1 kilograms in developed countries, equivalent to over 260 food calories per day. As sugar consumption grew in the latter part of the 20th century, researchers began to examine whether a diet high in sugar refined sugar, was damaging to human health. Excessive consumption of sugar has been implicated in the onset of obesity, cardiovascular disease and tooth decay. Numerous studies have tried to clarify those implications, but with varying results because of the difficulty of finding populations for use as controls that consume little or no sugar. In 2015, the World Health Organization recommended that adults and children reduce their intake of free sugars to less than 10%, encouraged a reduction to below 5%, of their total energy intake.
The etymology reflects the spread of the commodity. From Sanskrit शर्करा, meaning "ground or candied sugar," "grit, gravel", came Persian shakar, whence Arabic سكر, whence Medieval Latin succarum, whence 12th-century French sucre, whence the English word sugar. Italian zucchero, Spanish azúcar, Portuguese açúcar came directly from Arabic, the Spanish and Portuguese words retaining the Arabic definite article; the earliest Greek word attested is σάκχαρις. The English word jaggery, a coarse brown sugar made from date palm sap or sugarcane juice, has a similar etymological origin: Portuguese jágara from the Malayalam ചക്കരാ, itself from the Sanskrit शर्करा. Sugar has been produced in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times and its cultivation spread from there into modern-day Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass, it was not plentiful or cheap in early times, in most parts of the world, honey was more used for sweetening. People chewed raw sugarcane to extract its sweetness. Sugarcane was a native of Southeast Asia.
Different species seem to have originated from different locations with Saccharum barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea. One of the earliest historical references to sugarcane is in Chinese manuscripts dating to 8th century BCE, which state that the use of sugarcane originated in India. In the tradition of Indian medicine, the sugarcane is known by the name Ikṣu and the sugarcane juice is known as Phāṇita, its varieties and characterics are defined in nighaṇṭus such as the Bhāvaprakāśa. Sugar remained unimportant until the Indians discovered methods of turning sugarcane juice into granulated crystals that were easier to store and to transport. Crystallized sugar was discovered by the time of the Imperial Guptas, around the 5th century CE. In the local Indian language, these crystals were called khanda, the source of the word candy. Indian sailors, who carried clarified butter and sugar as supplies, introduced knowledge of sugar along the various trade routes they travelled.
Traveling Buddhist monks took sugar crystallization methods to China. During the reign of Harsha in North India, Indian envoys in Tang China taught methods of cultivating sugarcane after Emperor Taizong of Tang made known his interest in sugar. China established its first sugarcane plantations in the seventh century. Chinese documents confirm at least two missions to India, initiated in 647 CE, to obtain technology for sugar refining. In the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and China, sugar became a staple of cooking and desserts. Nearchus, admiral of Alexander of Macedonia, knew of sugar during the year 325 B. C. because of his participation in the campaign of India led by Alexander. The Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides in the 1st century CE described sugar in his medical treatise De Materia Medica, Pliny the Elder, a 1st-century CE Roman, described sugar in his Natural History: "Sugar is made in Arabia as well, but Indian sugar is better, it is a kind of honey found in cane, white as gum, it crunches between the teeth.
It comes in lumps the size of a hazelnut. Sugar is used only for medical purposes." Crusaders brought sugar back to Europe after their campaigns in the Hol
Annin tofu or almond tofu is a soft, jellied dessert made of apricot kernel milk and sugar. It is a traditional dessert of Beijing cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, Hong Kong cuisine, Japanese cuisine, it is similar to blancmange. The name "tofu" here refers to "tofu-like solid"; this naming convention is seen in other east Asian dishes, e.g. Chinese yudoufu, Japanese tamagodofu. In the traditional recipe, the primary ingredient are almonds and ground with water; the almond milk is extracted and heated with a gelling agent. When chilled, the almond milk mixture solidifies to the consistency of a soft gelatin dessert. Although the agar-based recipe is vegan, there are numerous nontraditional recipes. Most are based on a small amount of flavored extract. Gelatin is a common substitute for agar. Almond jelly can be made from using instant mix. There is an instant soy-based powder with a coagulating agent, which dissolves in hot water and solidifies upon cooling. One popular brand of mix is DoFu Delight. Almond milk Blancmange Crème caramel List of Chinese desserts List of desserts Annin tofu recipe
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla. The word vanilla, derived from vainilla, the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina, is translated as "little pod". Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlīlxochitl by the Aztecs. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s. Pollination is required to set the vanilla fruit from. In 1837, Belgian botanist Charles François Antoine Morren discovered this fact and pioneered a method of artificially pollinating the plant; the method was not deployed commercially. In 1841, Edmond Albius, a slave who lived on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, discovered at the age of 12 that the plant could be hand-pollinated. Hand-pollination allowed global cultivation of the plant. Three major species of vanilla are grown globally, all of which derive from a species found in Mesoamerica, including parts of modern-day Mexico.
They are V. planifolia, grown on Madagascar, Réunion, other tropical areas along the Indian Ocean. The majority of the world's vanilla is the V. planifolia species, more known as Bourbon vanilla or Madagascar vanilla, produced in Madagascar and neighboring islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean, in Indonesia. Combined and Indonesia produce two-thirds of the world's supply of vanilla. Vanilla is the second-most expensive spice after saffron because growing the vanilla seed pods is labor-intensive. Despite the expense, vanilla is valued for its flavor; as a result, vanilla is used in both commercial and domestic baking, perfume manufacture, aromatherapy. According to other popular belief, the Totonac Aztec-age people, who inhabit the east coast of Mexico in the present-day state of Veracruz, were among the first people to cultivate vanilla in the 15th century. Aztecs invading from the central highlands of Mexico conquered the Totonacs, developed a taste for the vanilla pods, they named the fruit tlilxochitl, or "black flower", after the matured fruit, which shrivels and turns black shortly after it is picked.
Until the mid-19th century, Mexico was the chief producer of vanilla. In 1819, French entrepreneurs shipped vanilla fruits to the islands of Réunion and Mauritius in hopes of producing vanilla there. After Edmond Albius discovered how to pollinate the flowers by hand, the pods began to thrive. Soon, the tropical orchids were sent from Réunion to the Comoros Islands and Madagascar, along with instructions for pollinating them. By 1898, Madagascar, Réunion, the Comoros Islands produced 200 metric tons of vanilla beans, about 80% of world production. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Indonesia is responsible for the vast majority of the world's Bourbon vanilla production and 58% of the world total vanilla fruit production; the market price of vanilla rose in the late 1970s after a tropical cyclone ravaged key croplands. Prices remained high through the early 1980s despite the introduction of Indonesian vanilla. In the mid-1980s, the cartel that had controlled vanilla prices and distribution since its creation in 1930 disbanded.
Prices dropped 70 % to nearly US$20 per kilogram. The cyclone, political instability, poor weather in the third year drove vanilla prices to an astonishing US$500/kg in 2004, bringing new countries into the vanilla industry. A good crop, coupled with decreased demand caused by the production of imitation vanilla, pushed the market price down to the $40/kg range in the middle of 2005. By 2010, prices were down to $20/kg. Cyclone Enawo caused in similar spike to $500/kg in 2017. Madagascar accounts for much of the global production of vanilla. Mexico, once the leading producer of natural vanilla with an annual yield of 500 tons of cured beans, produced only 10 tons in 2006. An estimated 95% of "vanilla" products are artificially flavored with vanillin derived from lignin instead of vanilla fruits. Vanilla was unknown in the Old World before Cortés. Spanish explorers arriving on the Gulf Coast of Mexico in the early 16th century gave vanilla its current name. Portuguese sailors and explorers brought vanilla into Africa and Asia that century.
They called it vainilla, or "little pod". The word vanilla entered the English language in 1754, when the botanist Philip Miller wrote about the genus in his Gardener’s Dictionary. Vainilla is from the Latin vagina to describe the shape of the pods; the main species harvested for vanilla is V. planifolia. Although it is native to Mexico, it is now grown throughout the tropics. Indonesia and Madagascar are the world's largest producers. Additional sources include V. pompona and V. tahitiensis, although the vanillin content of these species is much less than V. planifolia. Vanilla grows as a vine, climbing up pole, or other support, it can be grown in a plantation, or in a "shader", in increasing orders of productivity. Its growth environment is referred to as its terroir, includes not only the adjacent plants, but the climate and local geology. Left alone, it will grow as h
Rennet is a complex set of enzymes produced in the stomachs of ruminant mammals. Chymosin, its key component, is a protease enzyme; this helps young mammals digest their mothers' milk. Rennet can be used to separate milk into solid curds for cheesemaking and liquid whey. In addition to chymosin, rennet contains other important enzymes such as a lipase. Rennet is used in the production of most cheeses; the mammal's digestive system must be accessed to obtain its rennet. Non-animal alternatives for rennet are available. One of the main actions of rennet is its protease chymosin cleaving the kappa casein chain. Casein is the main protein of milk. Cleavage causes casein to form a network, it can cluster better in the presence of calcium and phosphate, why it is added in cheese making from calcium phosphate-poor goat milk. The solid truncated casein protein network traps other components of milk like fats and minerals to create cheese. In digestion it is followed by other proteases cutting casein further to release and absorb the component amino acids and minerals.
In a nutshell, curdling is chymosin cleaving casein, a process, part of natural digestion and cheese making. Calf rennet is extracted from the inner mucosa of the fourth stomach chamber of young, unweaned calves as part of livestock butchering; these stomachs are a byproduct of veal production. If rennet is extracted from older calves, the rennet contains less or no chymosin, but a high level of pepsin and can only be used for special types of milk and cheeses; as each ruminant produces a special kind of rennet to digest the milk of its own species, milk-specific rennets are available, such as kid goat rennet for goat's milk and lamb rennet for sheep's milk. Dried and cleaned stomachs of young calves are sliced into small pieces and put into salt water or whey, together with some vinegar or wine to lower the pH of the solution. After some time, the solution is filtered; the crude rennet that remains in the filtered solution can be used to coagulate milk. About 1 g of this solution can coagulate 2 to 4 L of milk.
Deep-frozen stomachs are put into an enzyme-extracting solution. The crude rennet extract is activated by adding acid; the acid is neutralized and the rennet extract is filtered in several stages and concentrated until reaching a typical potency of about 1:15,000. One kg of rennet extract has about 0.7 g of active enzymes – the rest is water and salt and sometimes sodium benzoate, 0.5% - 1.0% for preservation. 1 kg of cheese contains about 0.0003 g of rennet enzymes. Because of the limited availability of mammalian stomachs for rennet production, cheese makers have sought other ways to coagulate milk since at least Roman times; the many sources of enzymes that can be a substitute for animal rennet range from plants and fungi to microbial sources. Cheeses produced from any of these varieties of rennet are suitable for lactovegetarians. Fermentation-produced chymosin is used more in industrial cheesemaking in North America and Europe today because it is less expensive than animal rennet. Many plants have coagulating properties.
Homer suggests in the Iliad. Other examples include several species of Galium, dried caper leaves, thistles and ground ivy. Enzymes from thistle or Cynara are used in some traditional cheese production in the Mediterranean. Phytic acid, derived from unfermented soybeans, or fermentation-produced chymosin may be used. Vegetable rennet might be used in the production of kosher and halal cheeses, but nearly all kosher cheeses are produced with either microbial rennet or FPC. Commercial so-called vegetable rennets contain an extract from the mold Rhizomucor miehei; some molds such as Rhizomucor miehei are able to produce proteolytic enzymes. These molds are produced in a fermenter and specially concentrated and purified to avoid contamination with unpleasant byproducts of the mold growth; the traditional view is that these coagulants result in bitterness and low yield in cheese when aged for a long time. Over the years, microbial coagulants have improved a lot due to the characterization and purification of secondary enzymes responsible for bitter peptide formation/non-specific proteolytic breakdown in cheese aged for long periods.
It has become possible to produce several high-quality cheeses with microbial rennet. Cheeses produced this way are suitable for vegetarians, provided no animal-based alimentation was used during the production; because of the above imperfections of microbial and animal rennets, many producers sought other replacements of rennet. With genetic engineering it became possible to isolate rennet genes from animals and introduce them into certain bacteria, fungi, or yeasts to make them produce chymosin during fermentation; the genetically modified microorganism is killed after fermentation and chymosin isolated from the fermentation broth, so that the fermentation-produced chymosin used by cheese producers does not contain a GMO or any GMO DNA. FPC is produced in a more efficient way. FPC products have been on the market since 1990 and, because the quantity needed per unit of milk can be standardized, are commercially viable alternatives to crude animal or plant rennets, as well as preferred to them.
Created by biotechnology company Pfizer, F
Crème caramel, flan, or caramel dessert is a custard dessert with a layer of clear caramel sauce, as opposed to crème brûlée, custard with an added hard clear caramel layer on top. Crème caramel used to be ubiquitous in European restaurants; this was due to the convenience, for restaurateurs, of being able to prepare a lot in advance and keep them until needed. Both crème caramel and flan are French names, but flan has come to have different meanings in different regions. In Spanish-speaking countries and in The United States of America, flan refers to crème caramel; this was a Spanish usage, but the dish is now best known in the United States in a Latin American context. Elsewhere, including in Britain, a flan is a type of tart somewhat like a quiche; the Modern English word flan comes from French flan, from Old French flaon, in turn from Medieval Latin fladonem, derived from the Old High German flado, a sort of flat cake from an Indo-European root for'flat' or'broad'. The North American sense of flan as crème caramel was borrowed from Latin American Spanish.
Crème caramel is a variant of plain custard where sugar syrup cooked to caramel stage is poured into the mold before adding the custard base. It is cooked in a bain-marie on a stove top or in the oven in a water bath, it is turned and served with the caramel sauce on top, hence the alternate French name crème caramel renversée. Turning out larger dishes requires care, as the custard splits. Larger dishes require more care to avoid undercooking the interior or overcooking the exterior. Thus, crème caramel is cooked and served in ramekins; the objective being to obtain a homogeneous and smooth cream on the surface of the crème caramel, that the base, being the caramel, remains liquid after being cooked in a bain-marie. Therefore, the importance of cooking it in a bain-marie to avoid that the caramel gets burned which would bring a taste of carbonization to the dessert. An imitation of crème caramel may be prepared from "instant flan powder", thickened with agar or carrageenan rather than eggs. In some Latin American countries, the true custard version is known as "milk flan" or "milk cheese", the substitute version is known as just "flan".
Caramel custard is popular in the larger coastal cities, in former Portuguese colonies such as Goa and Diu. Sometimes, masala chai is added, it is a staple on restaurant menus in the beach resorts along India's coasts and prepared in the home kitchens of the Anglo-Indian Goan, Malayali and Parsi communities. Packaged crème caramel is ubiquitous in Japanese convenience stores under the name purin, or custard pudding; the same kind of dessert are sold in convenience stores in Taiwan. Caramel custard is a popular dessert in Malaysia. First introduced by the Portuguese in the 1500s and sold year-round today, this dessert is popular served in restaurants, cafes and Ramadan bazaars for breaking the fast. In the Philippines, flan is known as leche flan, a heavier version of the Spanish dish, made with condensed milk and more egg yolks. Leche flan is steamed over an open flame or stove top in an oval-shaped tin mold known as llanera, although it can be baked. Leche flan is a staple dessert in celebratory feasts.
An heavier version, called tocino de cielo or tocino del cielo, is similar, but has more egg yolks and sugar. Crème caramel is common in Vietnam, it is known as bánh caramel, caramen or kem caramel in northern Vietnam or bánh flan or kem flan in southern Vietnam. Variations include serving with black coffee poured on top, or browning the caramel past typical caramelization point to make a darker, more bitter "burnt caramel". Most notably in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, crème caramel is eaten with dulce de leche, whipped cream, or both. In Chile, it is eaten with dulce de membrillo or condensed milk. At most equatorial and Caribbean countries the inclusion of coconut, condensed milk and evaporated milk is widespread. In Venezuela and Brazil, it is made with condensed milk, milk and sugar caramelized on top; the Venezuelan version is known as quesillo and in Brazil, it is known as pudim de leite condensado. Flan in Costa Rica features coconut or coffee. Cuban flan "Flan de Cuba" is made with the addition of the whites of a cinnamon stick.
A similar Cuban dish is "Copa Lolita", a small caramel flan served with one or two scoops of vanilla ice-cream. Other variations include rum raisin topping. In the Dominican Republic, only egg yolks are used and mixed with vanilla, evaporated milk and condensed milk. Coconut flan is known as quesillo. In Mexico, a variation of flan called Flan Napolitano is made, where cream cheese is added to the recipe to create a creamier version. Most Puerto Rican flans are milk based; some are coconut-based and called flan de coco, made with both condensed milk and coconut milk or with cream of coconut, condensed milk and evaporated milk. Beaten egg white foam is used to lighten the mixture. Coconut flan is seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla. Around the Thanksgiving holiday it is popular to add pumpkin, ñame purée, or breadfruit along with spices like ginger, cinnamon