Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Turrón de Doña Pepa - Guest Post

Recently I (Angelica) gave a presentation in my Spanish class about a Peruvian festival called “El Señor de Los Milagros”, or the Lord of Miracles. The festival is one of the most important Catholic religious phenomenons in the world. It is celebrated in Peru during the month of October with parades in the streets and the carrying of the statue of Jesus. Citizens wear purple to show their gratitude for a received miracle, wearing the clothing for a week, the whole month, or even the year. The festival is celebrated with singing and dancing in the streets, practicing their faith, participating in the parade and making a sweet and sticky treat called Turrón de Doña Pepa. 
Turrón is a nougat-like dessert made with anise, a sweet fruit syrup, and small pieces of shortbread combined together to make a crunchy yet smooth bite of sugar. I made some for my class after a 2-day process. Most of my classmates enjoyed it, but I have a suspicion that there was too much anise for some of them. A close family friend provided a store-bought version purchased in Perú and hand carried back to PA so that we could sample the real deal. IMHO, the homemade version was better. It was quite an experience to be able to have the opportunity to learn and present a Spanish holiday. Each student had to present to receive their major grade in the class, so I have learned so much about Spanish culture around the world. It is such an enjoyable activity, to sit and listen to the speaker talk about the festival or holiday they were assigned. All of the presentations gave me the interest and the fascination to visit each country and experience each holiday.

Part of the requirement for Angelica's class project was to prepare a typical food that is enjoyed during the festival. After poking around the Internet, and watching several 'how-to' videos, she decided she could make the Turrón following this recipe. The recipe states 10 minutes prep time, 30 minutes cook time for a total time of 40 minutes. HA! HA! We spent two days putting this together. The first evening, Angelica measured and prepared the shortbread cookies. Rolling, cutting and forming long thin equal strips and baking them. That in itself was more than 40 minutes.
Measuring the flour, making the shortbread
Rolling, measuring, cutting the shortbread

The second day she prepared the syrup. It smelled divine - a sweet mixture of apple, lime, orange, prunes and spices; cinnamon, cloves and allspice. And then it was time to assemble the confection. The shortbread pieces are placed in the pan layer by layer, with each layer going in opposite directions. The warm sweet glaze is then poured over the cookies, filling in all the holes. After letting the glaze firm overnight, the dessert was cut.
Mixing the spiced fruit syrup.
Glazing the shortbread with the syrup.
Can you discern the home made version vs. the Peruvian version? Special thanks to Nancy and José for gifting us with this special delicacy from his homeland. Angelica was pleased to be able to share both with her classmates.
Angelica's homemade version is on the left with the purple decorations.

1 comment:

Marilyn Miller said...

What a fun project and well done, Angelica. The final product is so pretty and festive.