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Refresh Yourself! 10 Cold Desserts to Eat Around the World

Eat up to cool down your luxury vacation

Move over ice cream – there are new frozen treats in town. Take an international tour of cold desserts, from the churned and whipped to the poured and shaved. All are mouthwatering, and all are guaranteed to help you beat the heat, wherever your luxury travels may take you. So eat up, and cool down!

Bao Bing
Prevalent in Taiwan, Malaysia, China, and Vietnam, a mountain of shaved ice is topped with condensed milk, jellies, fruit, and a range of other options – including grass jelly or mung beans! Even the late President Richard Nixon has tried it, during a dinner with Mao Zedong.

Dondurma
How do you cool off in Turkey? Try this taffy-like dessert, which is thick, slow-melting, and refreshing. Long paddles are used to churn the confection, which playful vendors often use to entertain their customers. So if your sticky ice cream happens to disappear from its cone, don’t worry – it will return! Unless it’s because you ate it all, that is.

Faloodeh
Ever had spaghetti for dessert? This Iranian concoction mixes corn starch vermicelli with a cold syrup made from rose water and sugar. Try it as a topping over ice cream, or on its own with pistachios and lime. And, for the best of the best, head to faloodeh’s birthplace: Shiraz, Iran.

Halo Halo
This treat’s fitting name means “mix-mix” in Tagalog – no surprise, as the treat stirs in just about every flavor and texture there is. The foundation is built of fruits ranging from coconut to jackfruit, and beans like chickpeas or red beans. Next comes shaved ice, then toppings such as jellies, cream caramel flan, and purple yam ice cream. Finally, it’s drowned in milk – and that’s the simple version!

Keshta or Kashta
You say keshta, I say kashta. Though people can’t seem to agree on the name of this frozen cream, there’s no argument over its popularity! Eaten in Egypt and Arabian countries along the Mediterranean Sea, the treat’s texture is extremely thick and slightly chewy (thanks to clotted cream), and variations come in nutty and floral flavors.

Kulfi
Combat the scorching heat of Pakistan, India, and the Middle East with this frozen dairy dessert. Creamy and bit chewy, kulfi is cooked slowly to become dense and slow to melt. Opt for traditional flavors like rose, saffron, mango, or pistachio. To try the treat in India, look for street vendors (called kulfiwalas) who store kulfi in a giant pod kept cold by ice and salt, and serve it up on a stick or leaf, topped with cardamom or pistachios.

Kuzumochi
Somewhere between ice cream and a solid dessert lies kuzumochi. These Japanese mocha cakes are a gelatinous confection eaten cold, usually topped with roasted yellow soybean flour called kinako, or a black sugar syrup called kuromitsu.

Piragua
Cool down your luxury Puerto Rico vacation with a frozen pyramid of deliciousness! This pointy and syrupy shaved snow cone is sold by vendors called piragueros, who carry ice blocks in a cart and shave fresh ice for each order. Don’t be afraid to get sticky! You won’t get a spoon, so just lick the snow straight from the cup.

Semifreddo
More of a cold mousse than an ice cream, Italian semifreddo may translate to “half-cold,” but it’s fully delicious! These desserts are usually a mix of whipping cream and various flavor components, often made with ice cream cake or custard. They’re quite soft, so just don’t eat them on the go!

Sorbetes
Lining the streets of the Philippines are vendors selling this coconut milk-based ice cream from bright wooden carts. Unique flavors include ube (purple yam), avocado, and jackfruit, and the treat can be eaten in a cone, cup, or even a bread bun – quite literally, an ice cream sandwich!

Ready to taste some global treats? Start planning a luxury vacation here.

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