Is There A Difference Between Flan And Custard?

I live in a neighborhood that is Hispanic majority, anyway I was in the grocers tonight and a kid hands his mother something and she says “No honey, that’s custard I want flan, go back and get the flan.”

I thought, is there a difference? I mean doesen’t flan have like a carmalized crust on the top? But is there any real difference in taste?

A flan is a type of custard. The defining feature of it is the liquidy caramel that tops it. It’s basically the same thing as creme caramel.

In Britain they are totally different. Custard is a sweet, yellowish, thick sauce, eaten with fruit pies and other deserts, such as Xmas pudding, and flan is “an open pie containing any of various sweet or savory fillings” (this is actually the first definition given by Merriam-Webster). Thus in Britain, you might well put custard on your flan.

I always thought that flan was more dense than custard. The texture of any food is an important feature for me, and the firm, very smooth texture of flan is better than custard IMO.

Thing is “custard” describes a whole wide range of dishes and textures. I think what most Americans would think of as plain custard probably has a looser texture than flan, but I’ve had things labeled simply as “custard” on the menu that have been as firm as flan.

Both flan and custard are desserts made from milk, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. The only essential difference in my book is that flan has caramelized sugar on top. Any variation in texture or density is due to the proportion of ingredients, and there is no defining recipe for either.

The set “flan” is a subset of the set “custard”. That’s how I see it.

Thanks for the answers, seeing this is a Hispanic (Mexican) area, I thought there might be some differences in flan and custard

Like I said, given your context, I would presume the difference is the presence of the caramel syrup.