Caramel sauce from south of the border

JERRY ANNE DI VECCHIO,  – September 16, 2004

Folks in Latin countries to our south love caramel sweets ( dulce) made of milk ( leche or arequipe) boiled and concentrated with sugar. They call them variously dulce de leche, manjar, dulce de arequipe, or just arequipe. Cajeta is similar, but it’s traditionally made of goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk. These sweets range from candy-dense caramel to sauce you can pour. Dulce de leche is spread in and over cakes, slathered onto cookies, ladled over ice cream ― in fact, put with anything caramel enhances.

A fine example of Argentina’s dulce de leche, made by La Paila, is imported and distributed by Golden Bridge Enterprises (877/423-3663) to well-stocked independent supermarkets, gourmet food stores, and Italian delicatessens. (La Paila makes banana- and coconut-flavored dulce de leche as well.) A 15 3/4-ounce jar costs about $4. Once opened, dulce de leche keeps indefinitely, if chilled airtight.

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