Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Traditional Colombian Christmas Goop....Natilla, anyone?

Today we celebrated the holiday season Colombian style.  We got a special treat from New Jersey as one of our cake hour celebrants, whose family comes from Colombia, brought us Natilla. If you wonder why it looks the way that it does it is because it took the shape of the bowl that it was in. Although we were teasingly referring to it as Colombian Christmas Goop in fact it is a traditional Colombian custard dish.  Like most custards, then, it is predominantly eggs and milk with added sweeteners and flavorings. It is similar to Dulce de Leche, but is thickened with cornstarch and has panela which is a dark molasses like product which is a byproduct of sugarcane processing. Who knew?  As you can tell from the protrusions in the slices it also has coconut and cloves that latter of which you cannot eat.

Bowl shaped Natilla

Aerial View

A thick custard with coconut and clove!

Another Colombian researcher enjoys a native treat!

This was good and it was nice to try something different yet appropriate for the season. The person who brought it also told us that it is usually served with something called deep fried cheese fritters called buñuelos which we would have liked to try.  However it appears that her brother in New Jersey ate them all so all we got was the Natilla.  I guess we will have to wait for a later date to get the full experience. We greatly appreciate the fact that this was made for us and thanks to the chef!

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