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by Kevin Shalin
Certain desserts, despite their delightful taste profiles, just aren’t super popular. They might have a trendy counterpart or maybe just aren’t the current “in” thing. Whatever the case, these ten tasty desserts tend to fall under the radar.
1. Cherries Jubilee: Folks who enjoy flames in their dessert tend to opt for bananas foster, forgetting that its cousin, cherries jubilee, is also a great way to finish off a meal. Rum, check. Sugar, check. Cherries, check. Vanilla ice cream, check. (photo: chicknhen.wordpress.com)
2. Black & White Cookie: Granted, with its thicker, softer texture, a classic black and white cookie eats more like a piece of cake. But it’s called a cookie, so is often overlooked in favor of more popular options like the chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin or peanut butter. (photo: Kevin Shalin)
3. Mochi: This is a popular Japanese dessert unfamiliar to many people in the U.S. Mochi is typically a small, round dessert consisting of a pounded, rice cake exterior with an ice cream filling. If you can get past the initial awkward texture issues, this is a truly delightful dessert. (photo: Kevin Shalin)
4. Zeppole: Let’s cut to the chase … cool name aside, this is nothing more than an Italian doughnut. It’s fried dough topped with powdered sugar. The only reason it isn’t more popular is because we tend to opt for tiramisu or a cannoli. Can you blame us? (photo: browneyedbaker.com)
5. Éclair: Is it just me or were éclairs super popular about twenty years ago? Are they now too labor-intensive to make for most restaurants? I say, “Bring back the éclairs!” An oblong pasty filled with custard and topped with chocolate icing is a good thing. (photo: crustabakes.wordpress.com)
6. Peach Pie: Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Peach pie, underrated? But stay with me for a sec. Have you ever had a truly magnificent piece of peach pie? I can safely say it kicks the heck out of the ever-popular apple and cherry pies. (photo: finecooking.com)
7. Apple Fritter: They look like hell, but make no mistake, this fried mass of smashed dough is the cat’s meow. While most people scarf down jelly-filled and chocolate-iced doughnuts, the unheralded apple fritter sits in the corner, waiting to expand your waistline. (photo: Kevin Shalin)
8. Ice Cream Cake: This might be my favorite dessert in the entire universe, but again, one that probably peaked in popularity about twenty years ago. What person now in their 30’s didn’t celebrate a birthday in the 1980’s with an ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins? (photo: thec10.com)
9. Crepe: Maybe it’s viewed as more of a savory item than a dessert, but if you’ve ever had a crepe stuffed with dark chocolate, rolled up, and served from a food truck, it certainly eats like a dessert, and thus, belongs on this list. (photo: Kevin Shalin)
10. Baklava: Believe me, when baklava is bad, it’s REALLY bad. But when it’s good, watch out. Layers of crispy phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and warm honey make for an often delicious and highly underrated dessert. (photo: Kevin Shalin)
Kevin Shalin, who has spent time living in Houston, Boston and Little Rock, is a writer of all things food related. His work has appeared on the Houston Press food blog Eating Our Words, as well as Eat Arkansas, Bourbon and Boots and his personal blog … The Mighty Rib.