Picarónes donuts

Ark of taste
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The recipe for picarónes, or Pervian donuts, originated with the nuns at the Santa Clara de Lima monastery. It is probably adapted from recipes of the Spanish conquistadores that ate donuts with Moorish influences. Written documentation of picarónes dates back to the early 1900s. The recipe has been handed down since in Afro-Peruvian communities as a comfort food and national sweet popular in many homes.   The donuts are made with cooked pumpkin mixed with peeled and cooked sweet potatoes, two ingredients native to Peru. These are kneaded together with flour, salt, and non-sour chichi (a local drink). After mixing, the dough is left to rest for three hours. Then, spoonfuls are fried in hot lard. The donuts are served with brown sugar or syrup.   Typical of Creole culture, picarónes have a special place in Peruvian culture. Ricardo Palma talks about their local presence noting, “there were homes that never used clocks to tell time, but relied on the cries of street vendors…At two in the afternoon the picaronera (and other food vendors) thundered with their cries.” The donuts were have also often offered during religious processions, especially around Lima, since at least the 18th century.   Picarónes can still be found for sale in Creole restaurants and from street vendors, though it faces long-term threats from industrial imitations and imported sweets, which threaten to weaken this culinary tradition and the artisanal production method.  

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Cakes, pastries and sweets

Nominated by:Marco Tecchia