If you grew up in Miami, you probably have a soft spot for flan. It's the perfect dessert: eggy, creamy, and topped with silky caramel. As kids, we'd wait around for the custard, lick the plate clean, and then beg for more. As adults, we pretty much do the same thing -- when nobody is watching, of course.
Flan is our comfort food, but it can also be dressed up. And now it just so happens to be the shining star in Starbucks' new beverage: the caramel flan latte.
That's like giving Miamians a pastelito milkshake or a frita dumpling.
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As soon as we heard the news, we rushed to the nearest Starbucks and got our hands on the sweet drink. We had to know if it was possible to blend, steam, and drink our better-than-apple-pie dessert.
Our first dilemma was whether to get the latte hot, iced, or as a Frappuccino. We decided on hot and then debated over the whipped cream, but our barista insisted we add it. Why?Because it's not just any old plain whipped cream -- it's caramel-infused whipped cream.
The flan latte smelled wonderful -- like abuela's kitchen -- and the whipped cream had a subtle caramel flavor that was sugary and light. But the best part was the flan drizzle. It was buttery and sweet, but not cloyingly so. All of that, mixed with steamed milk and Starbucks' signature espresso roast, made for a delicious beverage.
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After our drink, we felt wired and nostalgic. We thought about the flan we've enjoyed in our favorite spots around town, places like Versailles, Cuban Guys, Little Havana, and also our family's rendition -- how our tía would sprinkle coconut and dark chocolate on top of her signature flan, giving it a bit of texture and a lot of love.
Maybe a caramel flan latte isn't a substitute for a classic Miami dessert, but it's an appetizing alternative. Oh, and our barista was right. It was better with whipped cream.
The only question we're left with is, what dessert will Starbucks turn into a latte next?