Why is Flan so Popular in Mexico?

Posted in Food and Fun

If you have a sweet tooth and decide to have some dessert after your meal here at Mattito’s or while hanging out during happy hour, you’ll notice that one of our desserts (our desserts are under Postres on our menu) is flan.

Flan is a type of egg custard that came to Latin America via Spain. You know the one. It’s soft, circular shaped, and usually is covered by melted caramel.

The dish dates back to ancient Rome, where the Romans used served it on its own or flavored with honey. It gets its name from the French word flaon, which comes from the Old German flado, a “flat cake.” (Hence the shape.)

Spaniards brought flan to Mexico during Spanish conquest and occupation. Since then it’s become a truly beloved dish among Mexicans in all regions of the country.

Most people consider flan a dessert, but more and more people are finding excuses to eat it at all times of the day.

Smothered in melted caramel, flan is most often eaten as a dessert or sweet treat any time of the day.

It’s popular in Mexico because the dish tends to be associated with home cooking or the unassuming comida corrida restaurants. What’s more, the basic recipe and components of making flan remain the same as they have for centuries:

An egg and milk custard is poured in a round mold that’s been pre-coated with caramelized sugar. The cook then covers the mold tightly and steams it in an oven or stove. (If oven steamed, the cook places the covered flan mold in a pan of hot water that reaches halfway up the mold’s sides. This is known as baño maria (water bath).

The baker then cools the flan after steaming it by placing it in a refrigerator before removing it from the mold. It should be kept chilled for at least an hour before serving.

To top it all off flan is dressed and served with a variety of flavors. Some of the more popular flavor options include: Mexican vanilla, orange, almond, chocolate, with pistachio being the most popular. Coconut, honey, cheese and coffee-flavored flan also are common, and some flans are even topped with fresh fruit such as strawberries, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries.

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Join us! We promise not to tell if you have dessert before dinner.