Word of the Week (211): RASMALAI (probability 9865), by David Sutton

A RASMALAI is an Indian dessert made of cheese, milk and almonds; it has a less appetising anagram which...?

I must say that whatever my views on foreign sausages, a lot of these exotic desserts do sound rather delicious. India also offers us KULFI, which is made by freezing milk which has been concentrated by boiling away some of the water in it, and flavoured with nuts and cardamom seeds. Or how about the Turkish BACLAVA (or BAKLAVA or BAKLAWA), a Middle Eastern dessert made of layers of filo pastry, honey, nuts, etc.

Then there are the Italian offerings: CASSATA, an ice-cream containing candied fruit and nuts, TORTONI, a rich ice-cream flavoured with wine and containing chopped fruit, TARTUFO, a dessert of light mousse-like chocolate, and SPUMONE (plural SPUMONI or SPUMONES), a rich dessert consisting of layered ice-cream with candied fruits, nuts, and sometimes brandy. Note that SPUMONI can also be singular with its own plural SPUMONIS.

Russia gives us KISSEL, a thickened fruit puree, PASHKA, a rich dessert of cottage cheese, cream, almonds, raisins etc. traditionally served at Easter, and PAVLOVA, a type of dessert consisting of a meringue base topped with whipped cream, named after the dancer Anna Pavlova. And I would like to sample NESSELRODE, a rich frozen pudding made of chestnuts, eggs, cream etc, which takes its name from Count Karl Robert Nesselrode, a Russian diplomat, whose chef invented the dish.

I am not too sure about the Welsh FLUMMERY, a pudding made of oats, which sounds rather dry, but I definitely like the sound of the Scots MACALLUM, a dish of vanilla icecream topped with raspberry sauce. But on balance I think I'll settle for CRANACHAN, another Scots dessert, usually made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey, and fresh raspberries topped with toasted oatmeal.


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