Creme Brûlée: Who Actually Invented This Sublime Treat?

Crème brûlée is a dessert that exudes a sense of both richness and sophistication while being simple. At first appearance, it looked to be the dessert that best exemplifies the French culinary tradition. Despite the fact that its name comes from the French phrase "burnt cream," the history of crème brûlée is not as clear as one might think. Indeed, France, England, and Spain have all asserted that they are the countries that are responsible for the creation of the crème brûlée. As part of our efforts to be as precise as possible, we underwent some research and here’s for you to know. 

The English version of crème brûlée has its roots in recipes from the fifteenth century and is quite comparable. It seems that a sweetened custard was created seasonally to take use of the exceptionally rich milk in the spring during calving season in England. Some credit a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, with the notion of turning the school crest into a sugar topping, while others claim that the burning of the sugar was an accident. Since then, it has remained a mainstay on the school's menu, going by names including Cambridge Cream and Trinity Cream. 

By 1691, crème brûlée recipes started popping up in French cookbooks, but instead of caramelising sugar straight onto the custard, they would add a disc of sugar that had already been prepared on top. This is a little different approach from our modern understanding in terms of methodology. 

According to legend, Crema Catalana from Spain has been around since the Middle Ages, making it a favourite in this race. Simplifying things for us, it falls somewhere between the fifth and fifteenth centuries. It is difficult to determine who made the first brûlée because the method for manufacturing custard became popular in the Middle Ages and spread fast across Europe, but our question is still partially unsolved. 

Even while crème brûlée has been around since the Middle Ages, it wasn't until the 1980s that it really took off in the United States. Interestingly, crème brûlée had been present in the United States for millennia by this time. It was served at the White House by the epicurean Thomas Jefferson, according to documents. It was widely published in cookbooks and publications during the 1950s and 1960s. It didn't take off until Le Cirque, one of New York's trendiest eateries, added it to their menu. 

Crème brûlée was the epicentre of the decadent and self-indulgent 1980s, a second revival characterised by cocaine and a renewed passion in all things epicurean. The return of crème brûlée occurred at the most opportune moment amid this perfect storm of circumstances. The brûlée, a darling of the restaurant boom, captured the entire decade of excess in a single tiny dish. 

The crème brûlée has been nothing short than a force of nature ever since it was reintroduced to mainstream culture. It has resulted in the birth of an innumerable number of offspring and reproductions. The crème brûlée has left an indelible mark on the population worldwide, and its influence can be seen everywhere from the most upscale restaurants to grocery stores. These days, you may find ice cream, doughnuts, cupcakes, french toast, and even coffee creamer that has a flavour similar to crème brûlée. In spite of the fact that it is widely available everywhere you go, we believe that the original is still the greatest.