As far I know it to be, it started during the 1300's. During a time when food was prepared straight from being slaughtered to being cooked, then stored until dinner time. That the main course was not the greatest tasting item, even being a bit bitter and rancid in taste. That a sweet dessert was provided to basically help hold down the main course and to cleanse the pallet of those bad tastes. You must remember that herbs and spices that are a common additives these days along with refrigeration, it wasn't so available back in the past. It is a tradition that has stuck around for near a thousand years or longer, and one practice that I am glad that it survived. I may be a bit foggy about the time frame, but I am sure of the reason. I hope this helped, good luck.