The Surprisingly Extensive History of Flan

History of Flan

Flan is a popular dessert in Spain and Latin America, also known as creme caramel due to its indulgent custard base topped with delicious caramel. It’s one of those delicacies that are irresistible and once you try it, you can’t stop eating it.

History of Flan

The flan’s history is traced back to ancient Rome when egg surpluses were transformed into custards to produce both sweet and savory tastes. The Spaniards took it to America, where it became a delicacy. Due to the Mexican’s heavy influence on the recipe evolved there and became today’s sweet staple.

The dessert came with many savory variations including eel flavored with pepper and honey, which was the sole sweetener at that time. Rome conquered Europe entirely, taking its customs, beliefs & recipes. When the Roman Empire fell in 476 CE, flan survived and became the sweet delicacy that gripped the newly conquered lands.

The Spanish loved this dessert the most among all countries and they added caramel sauce to it. As the Romans had done, when the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés landed in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in 1518, they brought flan with them.

Where Did Flan Originate?

The Roman Empire is the true origin of this dessert. The word flan is the French equivalent of the Latin word fladon, which comes from the Old High German word “flado,” meaning “flat cake.” Flan was once a savory dish, usually made from fish or meat. Today, the dessert has evolved into something sweet.

More Recent Flan History

In the new European culture, flan has become a formidable force. Caramelized sugar was added to the dish as a testament to refined Spanish ingenuity. The Moors assisted with some flavorings still used today, such as citrus fruits and almonds. On the other hand, flan has mostly remained the same egg, cream & sugar mixture over the years.

The Europeans brought flan with them as they did with other treasures when they arrived in America. Flan was adopted as an international dessert of the “La Raza” movement by Latinos, Central Americans & North Americans alike. The Mexicans, particularly, made flan a part of their everyday food.

Flan Flavors

Flan Flavors

The variations of this classic dessert have evolved as a result of the many different food types and taste options available today in local markets.

Classic Vanilla Flan

Original vanilla flan is still incredibly popular and consists of vanilla egg custard topped with a caramel sauce.

Chocolate Flan

The dark chocolate offers a delightful twist on the original and does best when combined with fresh berries, caramel sauce & extra chocolate, adding a luxurious flavor to the flan.

Coffee Flan

This variation of flan has a beautiful rich flavor from espresso coffee & it’s the perfect dessert to pair with a glass of after-dinner liqueur. The coffee kick lingers in your mouth until you finish it all.

Orange Flan

This orange flan has a milder orange flavor that cleanses the palate while still satisfying a sweet tooth. The sauce is made from sugar and orange juice, giving it its deep orange hue & flavor.

Mango Flan

A mango fruit adds a tart and refreshing flavor to the flan. Because of the freshness of the fruit, this flan is ideal for everyone. With fresh mango chunks and fresh mango topping included in the flan recipe, this is the perfect cooling treat to beat the heat of summer.

Types of Flan

There are two main types of flan; either a baked custard dessert topped with caramel, such as the French crème caramel, or a tart-like sweet pastry with a fruit filling, such as a fruit flan.

Is Flan Gluten-Free?

A flan is generally gluten-free and a vegetarian option for lovers of European food, as it is typically made with cream or milk and sugar and egg yolks.

What Does Flan Taste Like?

The end result of flan is a delightful and creamy dessert flavored with vanilla and caramel. The taste is unique & you can’t find it in any other dessert. While eggs are an essential part of the dessert, some flan fans believe the flavor becomes eggy if there is too much egg.

How Long Does Flan Last?

Flan is served at room temperature or cold. It usually lasts for three to five days at room temperature and should not be refrigerated after that. Nevertheless, if stored in the refrigerator, it should last about three days.

We offer the most exquisite delicacies at Socarrat, which will leave you craving for more. Experience the yumminess of traditional Spanish flan when you dine with us. Or you can take advantage of our Spanish food delivery service from any of 3 locations to get some flavorful flan at home!

About us

Socarrat is a Spanish restaurant since 2008 offering a wide variety of tapas, paella, sangria and an extensive selection of wines with three locations in the heart of Manhattan.


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