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Posts Tagged ‘Colombia’

Buñuelos Colombianos: Colombian Cheese Fritters

While it seems like the holidays begin earlier every year, in Colombia the season has always started on Dec. 7 with la noche del alumbrado, or Day of the Candles. People light candles in their homes and by parks, public landmarks, stores and churches. The celebration continues on Dec. 16 with the first of nightly novenas that will continue until Christmas Eve, when families and friends gather for prayers, petitions, villancicos (carols) and, of course, food.

While the observances vary from family to family, one constant element is the buñuelos: fritters made out of a smooth dough composed of fresh cheese blended with cornstarch, an egg and milk. I was given this recipe by family friend Oscar Marin who recalls buñuelos made with freshly ground corn in his youth. He makes sure to get the oil to just the right temperature so that the buñuelos rise to the top and swell up as they turn in the oil. If they rise too quickly, they won’t cook all the way through — too slowly, they’ll take on too much oil and become heavy. Traditionally served with hot chocolate or natilla made with whole cane sugar for the perfect combination of salty and sweet, buñuelos are a seasonal treat that are longed for year-round.

Buñuelos Colombianos: Colombian Cheese Fritters Recipe

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A Fried Christmastime Treat: Bunuelos

I love the look of Bunuelos — the treat is so enticing with their perfectly round shape. They are a Christmastime favorite in Columbia, where the fried yeast balls are stuffed with a white salty cheese and are more savory than sweet. The dish is traditionally served with natilla, a custard-like dessert that is very similar to flan, and with ‘manjar blanco’ for a Christmas trifecta.

Columbian Natilla (the ‘s’ gets dropped in Columbia) differs from the natilla in other countries since they don’t use eggs. This dish gets served chilled and is the perfect accompaniment to a crunchy, salty bunuelo.

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