Admirations for a letchy alpha-whore

Nope, my blog has not taken a U-turn in terms of its theme. I present to you he Argentinian alfajor: two biscuits with a layer of dulce de leche…

…And if dulce de leche means nothing to you, I am jealous because you have this pleasure still to come!

Alfajores are apparently a Middle Eastern invention, brought to Spain by the Moors, and then taken by the Spanish to South America and the Philippines. Today they are and institution in South America, with Argentina consuming more than any other country.

Those found in Argentina apparently bear little resemblance to the original versions (as you can imagine after that journey), and consist of two biscuits sandwiched together with a cream filling, jam or dulce de leche (I will come to this later), and covered chocolate or icing sugar.

Argentinian alfajore

An example of an Argentinian alfajor. You can buy them fresh from a bakery, from a deli in a supermarket (like this one) or wrapped much like a chocolate biscuit over here. Top brand = Aquila

There is no right or wrong time to eat an alfajor, and you won’t have to go far to find one. The first time I heard of one was when I had just arrived in Buenos Aires and was on a bus – I was sitting next to a man who told me of the alfajor, and pretty much the first thing I saw upon disembarkment was an array of alfajores. BOOM!

Dulce de leche

Dulce de leche lunch

And just to show you I am not making it up: Dulce de leche with a plastic spoon

The name dulce de leche translates as literally “milk candy” or “milk jam.”

And oh my goodness, it is lovely. So lovely that we brought a tub of the stuff over the border into Brazil for fear of not being able to get hold of it again. (In fact, long story cut short, but we got held up waiting for a bus, had to skip lunch and ended up devouring the entire tub for a “late lunch” whilst sitting on a bench overlooking the Iguazu waterfalls. Not exactly a balanced diet and, yes, it did make us feel rather sick, but a still love the stuff.)

Dulce de leche is sweetened milk heated for hours until most of the water in the milk evaporates and it becomes caramel. My Mum actually has a version of her own – made by heating an unopened can of condensed milk in boiling water for a few hours (but this is dangerous if the water is left to completely evaporate – please don’t try at home). I don’t think she knows that she is creating a version of dulce de leche (she does now), but this is essentially what it is.

I am not going to attempt to make an alfajor – at least not yet. Watch this space for when the withdrawal symptoms really do set in and I give it a go. In the meantime, find a recipe for some very attractive ones here.

The largest alfajor in the world weighed 464 kg (that’s over 6 times the weight of the average human) and was made in Uruguay, on 12 December 2010. www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-12000/largest-alfajor

Essential bus snackage

Essential bus snackage: From left to right: leftover patagonian lamb, tub of dulce de leche, carton of red wine and supermarket empanadas

Dulce de leche ice cream

Dulce de leche ice cream

I know, another photo of a glacier

I know, another photo of a glacier

Yes, yes, and another - BUT did you know that David Hasselhoff filmed the video for "Hooked on a Feeling" at this glacier (Perito Moreno). You can see the video here. Miss BeyondBlighty get's full credit for this find. Well done.

Yes, yes, and another – BUT did you know that David Hasselhoff filmed the video for “Hooked on a Feeling” at this glacier (Perito Moreno). Miss BeyondBlighty get’s full credit for this find. Well done.

Iguazu falls

Me at the Iguazu falls, Argentina – pre tub of DdL

Related posts:

South American Pie: The Empanada

Snack time: Choripán the Argentinian way (loosely)

End with a zing: Mango and lime ice cream

5 Comments

Filed under Argentina

5 Responses to Admirations for a letchy alpha-whore

  1. Wow. I come across well in this post. Carrying lamb in cling film on a bus, eating dulce de leche from a tub instead of admiring one of the natural wonders of the world and recommending David Hasselhoff music videos. What have I become?!
    Arianwen recently posted…Perito Moreno Glacier – one of the natural wonders of the worldMy Profile

  2. I haven’t heard of an alfajor until now and I really want to try one. The glaciers and mountains together look surreal. I now have two great reasons to hopefully visit Argentina one day.
    EarthDrifter recently posted…A Taste of Tamil NaduMy Profile

    • BeccaHills

      Thanks for your message EarthDrifter – yes, you should definitely visit. The glaciers were absolutely amazing! My hallway is now covered in glacier photos…!!

  3. Pingback: Home-made alfajor ice cream | global streetbite

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