It’s hard not to be drawn to a recipe by a beautiful photograph. Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent, and Francis Mallman’s Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way have all escaped from my kitchen shelves to my coffee table (where both the books and I feel they belong). Not surprisingly, Santiago Soto Monllor won this year’s James Beard award for Best Photography for Seven Fires. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Manjarblanco’
I’ve had one recurring thought since I tasted my first chirimoya a few months ago – there are parts of this world where flan grows on trees. Flan on trees. I’ve been pining for chirimoyas, also known as custard apples, ever since. In response to my previous post where I used them to fill pavlovas, my aunt described an alternative recipe that’s popular in Peru. The chirimoyas are folded into manjarblanco that’s been lightened with whipped cream and chilled, like dulce de leche pots de crème. I went back for more to but it’s been weeks since I’ve seen them. Then suddenly, there they were, looking proud but out of place at the Park Slope Food Coop. I scooped up a pretty heart shaped one and let it ripen on my counter like an avocado. After the whirl of Easter weekend had passed, I finally got down to using them. It was as simple as it seemed and the fresh fruit provided the right balance to the manjarblanco. I don’t know when I’m going to find them again but I’ll always look. From the moment the last scoop was served, I started to miss them.
I’d been looking for a way to use chirimoyas since I came across them a few months ago in a nearby market. Originally found in the Andean region between Peru and Ecuador, they’re also cultivated in small pockets throughout Chile, California, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and Israel. Heart-shaped and scaly, they could be a dragon’s paw and are almost as rare in my Brooklyn neighborhood, so I was excited when I found them. Also known as custard apples, they’re like everything and like nothing else. The fruit can be likened to strawberry, banana, pineapple, papaya, avocados, mango, ripe pears, and commercial bubble gum while Mark Twain described it more simply as “deliciousness itself.” Read more