Five simple foods that you might be able to make to get the taste of some Bolivian snacks
Empanadas Fritas de Queso
Fried Cheese Pastries
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1 cup queso chanco (or Swiss cheese or Havarti), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Combine the lard and milk in a saucepan, and heat until the milk is hot. Pour the hot milk into the flour mixture, and stir until a dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Cover, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 4-inch rounds. Brush the outer edges of each circle with beaten egg, and fill with a small mound of cheese. Fold each circle in half to form a half-moon; press the edges with your fingers or a fork to seal. Place the empanadas onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with remaining egg.
- Bake in preheated oven until golden-brown, about 20 minutes.
- Alternatively, the empanadas may be deep fried in 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oil. If deep frying, do not brush the outsides of the empanadas with egg. Drain on paper towels.
Recipe and photo source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/empanadas-fritas-de-queso/detail.aspx
2 teaspoons powder yeast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon aniseed
¼ cup of pisco
4 cups flour
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup of warm water
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon peel grind
Put the warm water in a bowl, 1 teaspoon of sugar and the yeast in it, let it be stand there for 15 minutes. Meanwhile soak the aniseed in the cup of water. Mix the flour, with the cinnamon, add the teaspoon of grind of lemon peel if you wish, the eggs, pisco, salt and the sugar. Add the aniseed with the water it’s in, the yeast and make a dough that can be kneaded. Let it stay in a warm place, covered with a kitchen towel to keep it warmer until it doubles in size. Then make little dough balls with your hands and poke a hole in the middle to make a donut shape and fry them in very hot oil. Let them cool and they can be served with syrup, or with honey, or with melted chocolate. Even covered with confectioner’s sugar they are delicious.
Ideal with the coffee after dinner!
Helado de Canela
5 cups water
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 spoonfuls cold water
1 spoonful corn starch
1 spoonful lemon juice
- Boil the five cups of water with cinnamon until it has color, flavor, and diminishes to four cups. Add the sugar and let it boil for five minutes.
- In the two spoonfuls of cold water dissolve the spoonful of corn starch. Add to the previous preparation. Let it cook for five minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and let it cool down a little. Add the spoonful of lemon juice and strain the preparation.
- Once cold, put the mixture in the freezer. Before it gets completely frozen, stir the sorbet so that it does not get very hard. Repeat this two or three times, until the sorbet is ready.
Recipe source: http://www.boliviaweb.com/recipes/english/canela.htm
Photo source: http://www.santiagoenpicada.cl/tag/canela
Cold Peach Cider
Mocochinchi is dehydrated peach cider and is probably one of the (if not THE) most served beverages in Bolivia. You can find it in any region of Bolivia. It’s surprisingly simple to make, and surprisingly sweet!
I have no idea why this drink is called mocochinchi – in Spanish “moco” means buggers! OK OK! Before I ruin this recipe for you, get that out of your mind and try it! (Photo: this is what dehydrated peaches look like).
In Bolivia you’ll see this sold on street corners and in parks and plazas, usually in large glass jars, along side other drinks such as chicha and somó.
Ingredients (Serves 6)
1/2 pound of dehydrated whole peaches (if you can’t find these try sundried peach slices, just not sweetened dried peaches)
1/4 pound of dried black raisins
2 sticks of cinnamon
3 cups of water
Juice from one orange
Grated peel from one lemon (zest)
Sugar to taste
Boil 3 cups of water, then take it off the stove. Soak the whole or sliced dried peaches in the boiling hot water for about 1 hour. Return the peaches (and the water) to the heat. Add sugar, cinnamon, orange juice, and lemon zest. Cook until the peaches are soft and the water has taken on a dark rusty color. Add the raisins and cook for another ½ hour. If the water steams off too much, add about ½ cup more. You don’t want this to turn into a thick nectar. It should be very liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
This is typically served VERY sweet and VERY cold. Normally a glass of mocochinchi is served with one or two of the dehydrated whole peaches included. Once you drink the juice, you eat the peaches, which are now soft, too.
Recipe and photo source: http://www.boliviabella.com/mocochinchi.html
Soda in a bag
The most popular sodas in Bolivia are Coca-Cola and Fanta (orange flavor). The street venders have to return the bottles to the suppliers so they found a way to make the soda portable for their customers. Put it in a bag! You can try this too.
Use a plastic sandwich bag (without the sealing strip). Hold it with one hand while you fill it about half full with soda. Put in a thin straw. Tie the bag around the straw with a couple tight knots. Half of the bag is filled with air now. The bag should be held by the knot to drink. Both the straw and the bag can be easily discarded when the drink has been consumed.
Photo source: http://www.1000kmedia.com/adventure/coke.html
A final note of Bolivian food manners…
When you pass someone eating or when someone at the table has finished eating you say a word that literally means “may your food digest well”. The word is: provecho.