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Dulce de leche

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(Redirected from Manjar)
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A Smucker's brand jar of Dulce de Leche

Dulce de leche ("milk jam" or "caramel spread"), also known as manjar blanco ("white delicacy") in some countries, and as Doce de leite (in Portuguese), is a traditional candy in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and other parts of South America. It is also popular in Central America and Mexico, where it is known as cajeta, and in Colombia and Venezuela, where it's known as arequipe.

Its most basic recipe mixes boiled milk and sugar, although other ingredients may be included to achieve special properties. It can be prepared by buying sweetened condensed milk and cooking it for several hours until it caramelizes. It is used to flavour candies or other sweet foods, such as cakes, biscuits (see alfajor) or ice cream, as well as flan. It is also popular spread on toast.

The origins of dulce de leche are unclear, as there are several legends about its creation. The most popular of these involves the 19th century Argentine politician Juan Manuel de Rosas. The story goes that in a winter afternoon at Rosas' house, the maid was making some lechada, a drink made with milk and sugar boiled until it starts caramelizing, and she heard someone knocking at the door. She left the lechada on the stove and went to get the door, when she came back, the lechada was burnt and it turned into a brown jam, dulce de leche.

The most popular dulce de leche brands in Argentina are San Ignacio, Chimbote and La Salamandra.

There are also other Brazilian, Chilean, Venezuelan and Colombian varieties of it, which are solid and can be cut into bars.

Recently, Dulce de Leche has become extremely popular in the United States as a result of the 1997 introduction by Häagen-Dazs of the ice cream flavor by the same name. Its popularity is now only surpassed by Vanilla.es:dulce de leche

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