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Dulce de Leche...or...Now I Remember Why I Gained 20 Pounds in Three Months in Argentina

I recently made a run to the international grocery super-store in Indianapolis, called Saraga. While it's terribly inconvenient, and not terribly cheap, it's really fun to shop there once in a while. It's almost like going on vacation.

First off, the shopping experience itself is wild. It's this huge grocery store with food and products from all over the world, and with people of all different nationalities there. It's like another world, especially in a place as seemingly homogeneous as Indy. Even if you don't buy most of the stuff--or even know what it is--it's just fun to look around. What is that stuff in the big jar with the Japanese writing on it? The stuff that looks like monkey brains? Should I buy this outlandishly expensive yogurt from Turkey that comes in two-liter soda bottles? probably shouldn't. But it's a treat for the eyes.

Secondly, once you actually make some purchases, you get to have food from around the world in your house all month. Cook up some chorizo sausage from Mexico. Who cares what's in it! Fry up some pre-packaged falafel cakes from Lebanon for a midnight snack. Eat all those Canadian mini-croissants before they go stale, etc. etc. If you've done any traveling, it can also be a comforting reminder of vacations past, as maybe you find that favorite brand of cookie you used to eat for breakfast in Italy, or what have you.

Which brings me to the reason for this post: Dulce de Leche.

A few years ago, I lived in Argentina for about three months. Among other amazingly delicious foods down in the Southern Cone, they have this thing called Dulce de Leche. It's basically a very creamy, spreadable version of caramel, kind of like the consistency of peanut butter. And man, is it good. I used to eat it on my bread in the morning, dip spoonfuls of it during the day, maybe even make a little DdL sandwich at night or spread some on bananas or apples for a late-night snack. It's delicious, and it's good on almost everything.'s also really fattening. And, considering I had nothing to do but eat and drink all day when I was there, I ate a lot of it (along with all that great Argentine wine, steak, cheese, beer, etc.) and gained about 20 pounds. If there are, say, 25 different brands of Dulce de Leche produced in Argentina, I must've sampled them all. I even tried to bring some back through customs, but they caught me at Miami, and said it was a "liquid" so they eliminated all four containers of it. Waaaaaah.

Sadly, I don't remember my favorite brand. However, for the next month or so--or as long as the jar lasts--I can eat Dulce de Leche, drink a gourd full of yerba mate, and remember the good old AR days.


Pia said…
I think you can make DdL pretty easily. I think its just condensed milk and sugar that has been boiled down -- probably takes less time than in took you to cook those lupini beans.

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