Monday, December 5, 2011

Torrijas (Rob and Josh)

photograph by James Hayes-Bohanan

 Torrejas are a traditional Spanish dessert that is usually eaten during the Easter season. It is prepared all during the lent season leading up to Easter. The American version of this desert would be French bread. "The story behind Torrejas is a true Easter tale. Since Christian customs restrict eating meat during Lent, bread, always plentiful, often became the meal itself. Original Torrejas were soaked in milk or wine (perhaps as a parallel to the Eucharist.) The very sweet version with milk is most commonly prepared" ( Guatemalans eat this pastry during Holy Week, also known as Semana Santa, the week before Easter.

The recipe is in the film "Like Water for Chocolate" when Tita and Gertudis are preparing Torrejas for the holiday season. Meanwhile, Pedro is on his way into the house and Gertudis wants to break the news to him that Tita is pregnant with his child. Just as he is stepping over the threshold Gertudis says "I think you should tell Pedro you’re expecting his child". A direct hit Pedro drops the sack of beans he is carrying. Then Gertudis says "I think Tita has something to tell you. Why don’t you go outside and talk". Tita didn’t know if she should thank Gertudis or scold her. Gertudis continues on making torrejas, she has no idea how to make them without the recipe. She doesn’t even know what a pint is. She has to ask her sergeant, Chencha, what a pint was.

Recipe Torrejas (Fritters)
El ingredient: ½ un pieza pan duro, 1 pinta de leche entera, 1 cucharada vainilla Mexicana, 3 huevos, ½ taza de azúcar, 2 cucharada canela picada, 1 cucharada picada clavos, ¼ palo de mantequilla, 3 tazas de agua, 1/3 taza de pasas, 1/3 taza plata almond.
½ a loaf of bread ( leave out crusty French or Spanish bread for a day), 1 pint of whole milk, 1 tablespoon of Mexican vanilla, 3 eggs, ½ cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of ground cloves, ¼ stick of salted butter, 3 cups of water, 1/3 cup of raisins, and 1/3 cup of slivered almonds.

Preparation Slice day-old bread into inch or inch and a half slices Add vanilla to milk Add 1 Tablespoon of sugar to eggs and then beat Place bread in milk and vanilla mixture and then in egg and sugar Melt butter at medium temperature Fry pieces of bread dipped in egg and milk in butter, over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side Place paper towel on plate and and place pieces of bread here to drain While bread is draining....... In a heavy saucepan or skillet (non stick) melt the sugar over medium heat until uniformly golden brown and smooth Move the sugar around the pan by tilting it rather than using a spoon to stir Carefully add the water, cinnamon (canola) and cloves, bring to a full boil

Reduce the heat to a slow boil and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened to a syrup consistency Remove from heat, add raisins and almonds Dip each slice of bread in the syrup and place on the serving platter. Pour the remaining syrup, raisins and almonds over the bread slices. Cover and leave overnight Serve with whipped cream strawberries or Kahlúa.

Josh's Experience
The Torrejas were fun to make; the smell of them filled the kitchen with the aroma of fried butter, cinnamon, and vanilla. I tasted one of the Torrejas when I finished cooking them, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It tasted similar to French Toast but with a hint of vanilla. The only thing that I deviated from on the recipe was instead of using Mexican vanilla I used regular vanilla extract and I didn’t use almonds because of fear of nut allergies. The Torrejas came out very well, they smell and taste terrific.

Rob's Experience
I followed the recipe to the letter. It took approximately an hour and a half to prepare. Everything worked out well except making the syrup, I think I burnt the sugar when I tried to caramelize it. The sugar burnt the pan. I should have just used the maple syrup it would have been a lot easier and saved around forty-five minutes cooking time. Other than that I had no problems making the torrejas. When starting the bread seemed hard as a rock but, when I soaked it in the eggs, milk, and vanilla it soften up immediately. I didn’t leave the bread out overnight because I thought they meant leave out a fresh out of the oven bread overnight.

Works Cited

Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate. New York: Random House, 1992. 187-203. Print.

"Food in Guatemala - Guatemalan Food, Guatemalan Cuisine - Traditional, Popular, Dishes,

       Diet, History, Common, Meals, Staple, Rice, Main, People, Types, Customs, Fruits,
       Country,Bread,Vegetables,Bread,Drink." Food in Every Country. Web. 07 Nov. 2011.

Like Water for Chocolate. Prod. Alfonso Arau. Dir. Alfonso Arau. 1992.

"Torrejas: Latino Easter Dessert." My Latino Voice Home. Web. 07 Nov. 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment