The dessert is known across Europe and the world by different names.
The ancient Romans understood the binding capacity of eggs; they were the first known to cook them with milk and honey into various custard-like dishes.
When the Arabs brought cane sugar to southern Italy, France and Spain, they also brought their love of dessert custard.
Their cooks were skilled in using sugar to create pastries, nougats, syrups, and custards.
In the medieval Arabs world, Spain cooks discovered how to make a delicate and subtly sweet custard by blending eggs, cream and sugar and baking it in an earthware dish.
Moorish cooks also lined the baking dish with a thin covering of caramelized sugar.
It is known as flan in Spain and Mexico and as cream caramella in Italy. Flan and crème caramel, both a mixture of sugar, flavorings and a milk product, differ in that flan is Spanish in origin and is made with sweetened condensed milk while crème caramel is French in origin and is made with whole milk or cream.