A dessert is a food that is eaten after the main course of a meal. Also known as a "pudding," a dessert course usually consists of sweet foods such as cakes, pastries, custards, ice cream, pies, wafers, biscuits, jellies or candies, although modern dessert courses may consist of yogurts, fruits or cheeses. Desserts are often served alongside liqueurs, tea, coffee or sweet dessert wines such as port.
Prior to the processing and trade of cane sugar, sweet treats likely consisted of naturally sweet fruits such as dates or figs along with nuts and honey. In the Middle Ages, many desserts, such as mincemeat pies and sausage-like puddings, contained bits of meat.
The concept of dessert has changed over the last century, as sweets are mass-produced and are often eaten throughout the day. Snack cakes, ice cream and candy bars are enjoyed worldwide, often as snacks between meals.