Arrope de Chañar

Ark of taste
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Arrope de Chañar, also known as Chañar syrup, is a traditional Argentine sweet derived from the fruit of the chañar tree (Geoffroea decorticans), prominent in the arid regions of central and northern Argentina and the Atacama Region in Chile. Recognized for its potential health benefits, including aiding with asthma and coughs, this syrup is made by cooking chañar fruits until they produce a sweet, dark, and thick liquid akin to honey or molasses. The chañar tree, resilient to arid climates, typically grows at altitudes between 1000 and 2000 meters above sea level and reproduces through seeds or gemmiferous roots, forming dense forests known as "chañarales."
To prepare the syrup, chañar fruits are cleaned, boiled, and simmered for approximately three hours until they release a dark ink-like substance. The mixture is then cooled, ground into a paste, and strained to extract the liquid, which is subsequently cooked until it reaches a honey-like consistency and brown colour. This process, lasting up to 15 hours, yields approximately 3 liters of chañar syrup from 5 kg of fruits.
Chañar syrup holds social, cultural, and economic significance in Argentina and Chile, with the chañar tree considered sacred among certain indigenous communities. However, despite its historical and cultural importance, chañar faces threats from deforestation and a lack of awareness regarding its benefits and derivative products. Efforts to promote its recognition and utilization as a superfood are essential for preserving this traditional syrup and its associated cultural heritage.

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Nominated by:Monica Liliana Vazquez