There’s nothing like treating yourself to a well-made mithai after a long day of work. The travel and food magazine, Taste Atlas announced the list of the 50 most popular street food sweets in the world on Sunday, which features three beloved Indian desserts. As per their official website (tasteatlas.com), the digital magazine serves as an encyclopaedia of over 10,000 dishes and drinks from all over the world and has curated several lists like the Best Traditional Food in the World and World’s Best Cuisines.
Their newest list featured desserts, mithai, and sweet treats that are eaten as street food around the world. For example, American funnel cake, which is a deep-fried batter topped with whipped cream and toppings, was number 31, while Japanese taiyaki, which are fish-shaped cakes filled with sweet bean paste, held the 17th rank. The list was topped by doughnuts from the United States which took the number one place.
Indian desserts featured on the list too, with Mysore pak taking the 44th spot and kulfi and gulab jamun ranked 25th and 24th, respectively. Mysore pak is a relatively newer sweet compared to gulab jamun or kulfi, with accounts of the sweet being invented in 1935. Taste Atlas notes that kulfi and gulab jamun originated in the Mughal era.
An article, titled The legend of Mysore pak published by the Times of India in 2021, spotlights the history of the royal delicacy. The mithai was served to Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar from Mysore, whose chief chef, Kaksura Madappa, decided to experiment by adding ghee and sugar to besan (gram flour). By the time the king ate the syrup, the sweet had solidified to form the fudge-like Mysore pak we know today. The list curated by Taste Atlas also mentions places to visit, like Guru Sweet Mart in Mysore, to sample the perfect Mysore pak.