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eG Food Blog: Panaderia Canadiense (2011)


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The other thing you can do is to cut the woody part off of the outside and boil the remaining portions in a bit of water to get neat cane syrup. This can then be reduced to form a sort of bastard form of panela, or used as a simple syrup.

I'm going to buy one of the cane stalks and try the above. I'll report back.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I was surprised to see "molasses brickle" -- hadn't heard the word "brickle" in a hundred years, since when we had butter brickle ice cream when I was a kid. Looked it up and apparently it was a trademark related to the the toffee Heath bar in the U.S. and the ice cream made with it. Do the Ecuadorians use "brickle"? What is the Mora syrup? A heavy cane syrup? What's it used for.I am just loving this look at a, to me, totally exotic place and wonderful food.

It's the word I use to translate it. Those things are called Dulce de Mani (peanut sweets) locally. Mora are Andean blackberries; Mora syrup is a heavy panela and juice syrup distilled from them. It's used on ice cream, usually.

I'm sorry to be a pain but I was so interested to hear "brickle" used, because it has disappeared from my life anyway. Did you use it Canada? Did you have butter brickle ice cream?

Also, that potato/cheese/avocado soup looks fabulous. Any chance of a recipe?

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You're quite welcome, Maggie; I aim to please! Of course, you could always come visit us....

Sylvia - brickle is the term that's been used in my family for roca or brittle for as long as I can remember - I wasn't aware it was a trademark until you pointed it out! We likely had the ice cream as well, or at least Grandpa would have made something similar.

--

Today's project ties in with the weeklong celebration of Dia de Los Difuntos in Ecuador. The Day of the Dead here as a Catholic festival also has very strong pre-conquest roots; it coincides with the old Incan festival of fertility and the celebration of the harvest of black corn and of the Mortiños, a small Andean blueberry that grows in the páramos (high altitude areas) of the country. The tradition here is to eat and drink with your dearly deceased during the festival, hold conversations, and update them on the year. All of this, of course, takes place in the cemeteries.

There are two traditional dishes for Los Finados (the entire festival week), those being Colada Morada and Guaguas de Pan. I'll talk a bit more about the Guaguas later on, but the main project for this afternoon was the elaboration of the Colada Morada. This is a thickish multiple fruit, herb, and spice drink given its signature colour by black cornmeal and mortiños. The roots go back to the Incan festival, where the drink was made to celebrate the harvest and to offer to Inti (the sun) in hopes of a fruitful harvest in the next year. The Catholics have taken it as a sort of sacramental wine, and in the current theology it represents the blood of Christ. However most Ecuadorians are also aware of the prior meaning, and the festival serves dual purpose.

Colada Morada is a multiple-ingredient undertaking.

Colada-Ingredients.jpg

From left to right, beginning in the top left corner, the ingredients are: The Herb Bundle. Sanguarachi (Amaranthus cruentus), Hierba Luisa (lemongrass), Toronjil (Lemon Balm), Orange Leaves, Arrayan (an aromatic Myrtle). Whole Cloves, Star Anise, Ishpingo-bark Cinnamon (Ishpingo being the native cinnamon tree - not true cinnamon in the Ceylon sense, but actually much stronger in flavour), Ishpingos (the flower bracts of the same tree - think of a flavour like strong cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and add something undefineably Ishpingo). Black panela (the darkest possible). Maracuya (passionfruit), White Pineapple, Naranjilla (a tomato relative with a bitter citrus flavour), White and Pink Guavas, Babaco (papaya relative), Zarzamora (wild Andean blackberry), Mortiño, and finally Frutilla (wild strawberries. My original lessons came from Fidelina, my adopted grannie, who insists that Fresas, or large strawberries, have no soul and therefore no place in Colada.)

The herb bundle is separated, washed, and placed in you second-largest stockpot with enough water to cover well, and then set on to boil. I wish at this point that I could attach smells to these posts - the herb bundle fills the house with a most wonderful odour. Once the water is a pale pink to red colour, the herbs are removed from the heat.

The fruits, in the meantime, are cut up and skinned (where necessary). Each one is placed in the blender with a bit of the herb water (and in the case of pineapple, guava, and mora, a whole lot of herb water. This is blendered until smooth. I should point out that no matter where you are in the country and completely regardless of social status, every single Ecuadorian household has at least one blender. I've been in kitchens that had no fridge but still had the blender. This is because it's the household's juicer, and that's how important fresh juice is to this culture.

Colada-Blender.jpg

Once it's nice and smooth, the fruit juice and pulp are poured into a strainer and strained to remove seeds and coarse pulp.

Colada-Straining.jpg

Rinse, lather, repeat, until all you've got left are the Frutillas. These are reserved whole (well, cut into halves).

The juices are stirred, the spices added (whole), and the whole pot goes onto the burner. It's heated until it boils, and then the panela is added, all in a lump. This is stirred until it completely dissolves. At this point, I also add an extra branch of Arrayan, because I love the flavour.

Colada-Pre-Boil.jpg

Then the spices are strained out. Half of the mixture (roughly) is reserved in the smaller of the stockpots, and black corn flour is added and blended (I use an immersion blender) until thick and no longer lumpy. Then the thickened portion is reintroduced to the thinner, and stirred well.

Colada-Black Corn Flour.jpg

The Frutillas are added then, and the mixture is allowed to cool slowly. This hydrates the black corn and thickens the drink.

Colada-Post.jpg

Colada is normally served warm accompanied by bread.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Interesting concoction to be sure ! I'm sure in Norte Americano culture (at least Anglo Norte Americano culture.... :cool: ) there's nothing similar. How thick does it eventually get from the corn flour, which, BTW is a very cool color !

On another note, what, other than this type of application, do you typically use pink guavas for? I had an overload in my winter CSA shares last year, and while I love the heady, intoxicating fragrance, and the flavor, I most certainly did NOT love the nasty little seeds that wanted to break every tooth in my jaw. I ended up cooking some down into syrup, and infusing vodka with another batch (which was yummy....). But most, I fear, I simply enjoyed for the scent and then tossed when they got past their prime. I'd like to use them to a better purpose this year.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Interesting concoction to be sure ! I'm sure in Norte Americano culture (at least Anglo Norte Americano culture.... :cool: ) there's nothing similar. How thick does it eventually get from the corn flour, which, BTW is a very cool color !

On another note, what, other than this type of application, do you typically use pink guavas for? I had an overload in my winter CSA shares last year, and while I love the heady, intoxicating fragrance, and the flavor, I most certainly did NOT love the nasty little seeds that wanted to break every tooth in my jaw. I ended up cooking some down into syrup, and infusing vodka with another batch (which was yummy....). But most, I fear, I simply enjoyed for the scent and then tossed when they got past their prime. I'd like to use them to a better purpose this year.

It depends entirely on how much of the flour you put in - at 1 lb for 7 L of liquid, it's drinkable, pourable, but still thick, kind of like a heavy cream soup. Other chefs use less for a very thin concoction, and others more for something that more closely resembles pudding. It comes down to personal taste.

Pink guavas are for juice! As I mentioned above, if you've got a blender and a strainer, you can get rid of those nasty little seeds very easily. To juice guavas in the blender, just skin them and cut them into chunks, then toss them in with some water (you'll be able to balance the water as you go - they'll take more than you think, since they're really really pectin-y), blend until smooth, strain into your juice jug, and you're good to go. The seeds stay behind and you've just got the essential guava goodness. Some people also add panela to guava juice, but when they're perfectly ripe I don't think it's necessary.

Once you've got that juice, if you add panela equal to half the mass of the guavas and then reduce the result on the stovetop (slowly) you'll eventually end up with Dulce de Guayaba, a sort of pate de fruit that retains that wonderful flavour and aroma and is shelf-stable - they're the deep red bars in my photos from the melcochero in Baños.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Last night's dinner was a simple homecookin' affair - oven-roasted chicken with black bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and some token asparagus in order to say there was a vegetable. It's another living, breathing advert for Smell-o-Vision - will somebody please get on that?!?!?

Tuesday-Dinner.jpg

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Wow, Colada Morada puts our smoothies to shame. Would love to taste that. This blog is fascinating, all the way round--thank you so much.

There is a simpler version of corn-flour thickened drink in Mexico and parts Norte called Atole. I believe it is often flavored with cinnamon and sugar and thickened with yellow or blue corn meal masa. When I lived in New Mexico I was close to a family whose roots are in Santa Fe. My friend's father drank it every day for breakfast when he was growing up. I did a few minutes research and it seems that Atole is also very popular for Day of the Dead festivities.

About that black corn....can you eat it as corn? Or is it only used as flour? In all the years I lived in NM I never did see an ear of fresh blue corn, only the meal or flour.

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Blue or Black corn can be eaten on the cob, but it's incredibly starchy and has little other flavour to recommend it - I've grown it and tried it, which is why I can even tell you that. That's why you rarely see it in fresh cobs, but rather in dried kernel or meal/flour forms.

Atole sounds like a drink we call Morocho, which is cinnamon and panela water thickened with ground flint corn.

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Atole is masa based and can be just about any flavor that the person making it desires. I've made Atole de Zarza (blackberry)which is quite delicious. Guava is also really good. And, of course, when you start adding chocolate in moves into champarado territory. It's an acquired taste for some, though.

PC this has been a fascinating blog so far. Really enjoyed the market tour. It was a nice opportunity to compare and contrast it with those that I am very familiar with in Mexico. IIRC, the currency in Ecuador is the American dollar, yes?

And as for pink guava...it's a great additive to margaritas. Steep a bottle of silver tequila with 5-8 cleaned chile de arbols, strain. Make your favorite maggie and add the guava juice to taste for a spicy guava margarita.

Okay, back to you PC and Ecuador and more of this yummy tour

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The food blogs are such an education for those of us who haven't ventured far beyond the N.A. continent!

I love how you showed the process of the Colada Morada and other exotic food porn, then, in total contrast, show us your roast chicken supper - something more familiar to most of us!

Bravo!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Yup, we're on the USD. We'll see for how long....

I'm sorry I haven't given y'all a substantial update before now, folks. Today was occupied with the elaboration and selling of Guaguas de Pan, which are the second component of the traditional foods for Dia de los Difuntos. My breakfast consisted of "quality assurance" guaguas - the ones that had hemorrhaged filling in the baking process.

Continuing the dual tradition, the Guagua represents thanks for the grain harvest and wishes for a good season in the Incan tradition, and the Body of Christ in the Catholic tradition. This is made a bit more disturbing when you note that the traditional filling for Guaguas is either mora or guava jam, so when you bite into one, it bleeds. For the linguistically curious, "guagua" (pronounced wah-wah) is the Kichua word for "baby." The most traditional form of this filled bread is a masa of white corn and quinua flours, filled with guava sweet, and baked in Horno Leña (a wood-fired clay dome oven); hardly anybody makes that type anymore. White bread is now the standard, sadly.

I make 7-grain Guaguas with non-traditional fillings - this year's are cinnamon-chocolate-panela with walnuts, stevia peanut butter with raisins (for diabetics), and brandy black chocolate ganache. The most popular with eaters is the cinnamon-chocolate, so I'll be making more accordingly next year.

Photos later - the uploader isn't cooperating. :hmmm: That sucks, because I had a hot candied fig sandwich off a cart for lunch, and that's such a neat thing....

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Alrighty, let's try this again... Yes! We have uploader! I'm skipping the dough method for the Guaguas - it's the same as the bread I made on Sunday.

Here's how a Guagua de Pan is formed (or at least one of the methods). I start with a 4 oz ball of dough, and roll it out into a rough oval about 1/8" thick. About 1/4 to 1/3 of this becomes the head, and the remainder is stripped for braiding.

BreadBaby-Open.jpg

Then the center strip of dough is brushed with butter and the granular filling added in - in this case, a mix of grated couberture semiamargo chocolate, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and panela.

BreadBaby-Filled.jpg

Chocolate chips are pressed into the head by way of eyes. 4 oz babies made of 7-grain dough take 25 minutes to bake, with a light egg glaze.

BreadBabies-Cooling.jpg

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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And here's the fig cart where I bought lunch. I was hoping that I wasn't too late in the season for this - figs normally disappear around mid to late October. What's going on here is an uniquely Ecuadorian take on them, too. The figs are scored and stewed in heavy panela and spice syrup in a big pot right on the cart (propane burner underneath), then scooped out hot into fresh bread with queso fresco, and a bit of sauce to make it nice and gooey-sticky.

A fig sandwich costs 60 cents, contains three large figs, and is absolutely amazing - unfortunately, I snarfed mine too fast to get a picture (selling Guaguas de Pan on the street is hungry work!), but here's the cart.

FigCart.jpg

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Photos later - the uploader isn't cooperating. :hmmm: That sucks, because I had a hot candied fig sandwich off a cart for lunch, and that's such a neat thing....

I was about to start looking for flights when I saw that gorgeous array from the sweets shop. But the prospect of a hot candied fig sandwich? I'm packing!

PanCan, this is MARVELOUS! You make Ecuador come alive!

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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And here's the fig cart where I bought lunch. I was hoping that I wasn't too late in the season for this - figs normally disappear around mid to late October. What's going on here is an uniquely Ecuadorian take on them, too. The figs are scored and stewed in heavy panela and spice syrup in a big pot right on the cart (propane burner underneath), then scooped out hot into fresh bread with queso fresco, and a bit of sauce to make it nice and gooey-sticky.

A fig sandwich costs 60 cents, contains three large figs, and is absolutely amazing - unfortunately, I snarfed mine too fast to get a picture (selling Guaguas de Pan on the street is hungry work!), but here's the cart.

FigCart.jpg

OHHHHHH everyone that knows me here, knows that I have an obsession with fresh figs. I'm PEA GREEN with envy.

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I actually thought of you the other day Shelby, we had some guests from the Midwest in the restaurant and one of them was asking me if the raw dates we had were figs. I went to get one from the chefs for him and then got to enjoy the sight of them eating their first fig - easy to forget how lucky we are to have ready access to things we can often take for granted!

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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I actually thought of you the other day Shelby, we had some guests from the Midwest in the restaurant and one of them was asking me if the raw dates we had were figs. I went to get one from the chefs for him and then got to enjoy the sight of them eating their first fig - easy to forget how lucky we are to have ready access to things we can often take for granted!

:cool:

That was so nice of you to do that for him. That's an experience he'll never forget. :smile:

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Dinner last night was what we affectionately call "Lazy Bastard Tuna Casserole" - it's made in the cast-iron frypan on the stovetop, and as such takes much less time and we can control how tuna-y it tastes as well.

Starting ingredients:

Weds-Dinner-Ingredients.jpg

In the pan:

Weds-DinnerInPan.jpg

In bowls (with a nice green salad and some spicy pickled cabbage of my own design)

Weds-Dinner2.jpg

Weds-Dinner.jpg

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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