There are two kinds of people in this world: people who love dessert and people who couldn't care less. Us? We prefer to roll with the people that save that extra space at the end of the meal for a sweet treat, the ones who are stuffed silly but might still have extra room for just one or two chocolate chip cookies. Clearly, America has a serious and committed relationship with dessert. After all, 95% of Americans consume over 2 billion cookies per year -- that equals out to 300 cookies per person. That's a lot of cookie recipes! So how did we get here? While dessert is at the end of the meal, it clearly had to start somewhere. With that, sit back, relax and try not to drool as we take you back through time to tell you about the mouthwatering history of dessert.
How Sugar Cane Changed the World Of course, we couldn't have such a big sweet tooth without sugar. Before sugar cane spread across the globe, ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia and India used honey and dried fruit to sweeten foods that were ultimately fed to the gods as offerings. Before 500 BCE, sugarcane was grown and refined in India and was then crystallized. By 500 CE, it was easy to transport. By 600 CE, the sugar trade was in full swing in Macedonia, China, the Middle East, and South Asia. During the Crusades, sugar spread to Europe and colonization further spread its use. In the Middle Ages, Europeans started to manufacture sugar, making it more available. However, in those days, sugar was extremely expensive and only the wealthy could afford to indulge on special occasions. Christmas cookies, for example, can be traced to Medieval recipes that were eaten on the holy day. Those cookie flavors still exist today. During America's Industrial Revolution, sugar became a mass-produced commodity and became extremely inexpensive. From there, the rest is sweet, sweet, history. The Sweet Present Today, desserts are a staple in just about every restaurant and household. For those with diet restrictions, they even have delicious flour free cookies on the market. Ah, the sweet possibilities of dessert are endless! What's your favor dessert and cookie flavors? Let us know in the comments below!