Argentine Dulce de Leche

And we’re baaaack! Back on track, back to mack on some snacks with Georges Braque. Back from the netherworlds of Argentina and Chile, and ready to pour all my energy inspired by nature’s wonder into writing about the food I make. If I were a quintuple-platinum Emmy®-nominated rapper, this would be my Recovery. If I were a food blogger, it would be the first of about seven posts before I get bored and take another break for the holidays.

Like my trip, this post is Argentina-themed. So to all of you readers who were complaining about the excess of Asian food recipes from blog based out of South America, this is for YOU. After trying to make it, however, you may realize that you’d rather stick with the cuisines that were developed in the presence of spices and other sources of flavor.

Dulce de Leche. Sweet of milk. That’s all there really is to it. It doesn’t exist in the United States. I’m not sure why. In Bolivia, we made dulce as a way to preserve the milk we couldn’t sell before it spoiled, so maybe our nation’s long tradition of pasteurizing milk is what denied us from ever trying to add immense amounts of sugar to milk. All I do know is that it is put in everything sweet here. Bread, pastries, cakes. Mostly in bread-related things. It’s good, it’s novel, and it takes a unfortunately long time to make. It makes great gifts or contributions to your upcoming holiday parties, so give it a shot. For me.

The ingredient list is so simple, it gives you that odd feeling of knowing exactly how much sugar you are eating. We’re all about transparency here at Oh, Sustenance.

And we’re doing it metric, just the way abuela does.

    Ingredientes

2 liters leche entera

600 grams azucar

Two teaspoons of sodio bicarbonato for color

1 teaspoon vainilla

Bring the whole milk to a boil and then drop it down to a good simmer. Add the sugar slowly while stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate it well. Then add the baking soda and vanilla. Cook at the slow simmer for approximately two hours, stirring every ten minutes or so. The trick to making good dulce de leche is to NOT BURN IT. I once had my three liter batch completely ruined by a few burnt pieces at the bottom of the pot. The burnt taste permeates the rest, giving you a not-so-nice campfire taste to the spread. So cook down the milk gently, and you won’t waste your afternoon.

Test the consistency of the liquid on a plate. Put a bit on and let it cool. If it doesn’t run too much and is closer to butter’s consistency than that of honey, we’re done. It keeps in the fridge for months. Put it in a nice glass jar and give it to your friends to whom you don’t plan on getting real gifts. They’ll love it.

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