Our September flavor of the month is Raspberry Chocolate. Raspberries are bramble fruits that like to jam. Sure, you can wear a raspberry beret, but it’s soooo much better to eat shortbread cookies joined with raspberry preserves and smothered in dark Guittard chocolate. Of course yet again, raspberries aren’t technically berries, they’re an aggregate of drupelets, but I think we can all agree berry sounds cheerier. So let’s all cheer – the raspberry chocolate alfajores are here!
According to the internet, more songs have been written about bananas than about any other fruit. Some of us would contend that’s because it’s simply the best fruit, and since bananas are the fourth most popular agricultural product on earth, many folks must agree. Thankfully, Andrés has whipped up some Banana Meringue Alfajores also known as Banana y Dulce de Leche Alfajores for those of us who are true believers. Alfajores covered in banana-infused meringue and topped off with banana bits – available all August long.
Passion fruit is popular throughout the world as an aromatic sweetener for drinks, pastries, and desserts of all kinds. This month, Andrés has whipped up a batch of passion fruit alfajores – passion fruit flavored shortbread cookies joined with dulce de leche and covered in passion fruit glaze – the perfect light, summery delicacy.
And now for your passionate education – passion fruit is the fruit of the Passiflora vine, a type of passion flower native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. It has a tough outer rind and a juicy, seed-filled center. The seeds are edible and delicious. You can tell a passion fruit is ripe (and therefore sweeter) by its slightly wrinkled appearance. Don’t eat the smooth operators. The purple and yellow varieties are the most common, so keep your eyes peeled. Passion fruit has many names: grenadilla, maracuya, and maracuja to name a few. They are all intensely good. I can’t eat these without singing Snap!’s Rhythm is a Dancer.
It is the beginning of June – a time when we normally celebrate LGBTQ Pride with rainbow alfajores – delicious and gay! Given all that is happening in the world, we also remember that this pride was born in protest. The Stonewall Riots were born from persistent police harassment of and brutality towards the queer community. As members and allies of the rainbow, it is our duty to stand with intersectional communities of color now and always. Black Lives Matter. This country is being called to justice. Cornell West says, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” May we all heed this call.
They’rrrrrrrreeeee Back! Back by popular demand – Tequila Lime Aljajores for Cinco de Mayo – alfajores with tequila infused-dulce de leche and tequila lime meringue! These things went like hot cakes last time. They’re the perfect addition to your quarantine celebration of the Battle of Puebla, when Mexico defeated French forces invading to demand repayment of the country’s defaulted debt. A good reminder to fight back during these troubled times. Don’t worry, these cookies aren’t alcoholic, just alfajoric.
In celebration of upcoming Earth Day, April 22, we’re offering matcha alfajores: matcha-infused shortbread cookies joined with dulce de leche. Packed with enough antioxidants to make you feel healthy, but yummy enough to be true comfort food. Earth Day is the largest secular holiday in the world, recognized by over a billion people. The very first Earth Day held in 1970 was even celebrated by then President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon who planted a tree on the White House South Lawn. Make sure and send this earth we all share some love this month – still huggable.
Andreas has been in the kitchen again and has concocted a special St. Patrick’s Day treat for us all: Whiskey and Cold Brew Alfajores – like a Latin American Irish coffee in heavenly garb. For the unaficionado, here’s some background on whiskey. Distilling techniques were brought to Ireland and Scotland sometime between 1100 and 1300 by monks, and were limited to apothecaries and monasteries until the late 15th century. Wine was already being distilled around the world, but it was not easily obtained on the cold isles, so physicians tried distilling beer instead – thus was born whiskey. Both Ireland and Scotland claim to have given birth to whiskey, and historians suggest avoiding this conflict at all costs.
What is the difference between whiskey, scotch and bourbon? None! Whiskey is the overarching category of spirits under which scotch and bourbon fall. Both scotch and bourbon get their names from places – scotch from Scotland and bourbon from Bourbon County, Kentucky. “Whiskey” can refer to any kind of whiskey – Irish, Japanese, Canadian, American, scotch, bourbon and more, but remember whiskey is the Irish spelling, and whisky is the Scottish one. Just to keep you on your toes. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all – undeniably Irish in origin.
We’ve got all the chocolate-covered, dulce-de-leche-filled treats you need for Valentine’s Day: Cupid Truffles, heart-shaped bonbons, sea salt caramelos, chocolate alfajores and more. Come stock up. And don’t miss Esscents of Flowers’ Pop-Up this Friday, 10-3, because alfajores go great with flores!
Monte Pissis rises to 22,287 ft, towering over the Atacama Desert. Flamingos, guanacos, vicunas, and condors are common on its slopes. The mountain is named after Pedro José Amadeo Pissis, a French geologist who worked for the Chilean government. We named our White Chocolate Truffle after Pissis because of the mountain’s extensive glaciers, rare for the dry region. Plus, the extinct volcano is probably still filled with dulce de leche – we hope.
Chocolate bark seems to be everywhere these days, but you know Andreas is gonna make it even better. Fresh pistachios and cardamom swimming in a sea of dark Guittard chocolate. I can’t write about this stuff without salivating. I’m a pistachio nut, and speaking of pistachio nuts, here’s some very useful information for your next party of friends. Iran is the largest producer of pistachios in the world, with California in close second. Pistachios are one of the oldest flowering trees in the world – they are mentioned in Genesis and were grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Queen of Sheba was apparently a bigger fan than I am. She demanded that the entire region’s pistachio harvest be set aside just for her. For safety reasons, you should eat the whole bag of pistachios at once, because they can spontaneously combust if stored improperly. I’m sure that’s what the Queen of Sheba did.
Come stock up on our special Holiday Alfajores: Marbled White Chocolate, Peppermint Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice. These puppies make an appearance once a year and they are worth the trip. Holiday Alfajores make every event festive and they can fit in stockings if Santa doesn’t eat them all. Check out our mother website if you’d like to a gift box to be shipped to Anywhere, USA. Our reindeer deliver.
Perfect for all of your October festivities – our skull capped chocolate alfajores have just arrived. Halloween Haunt, Day of the Dead Feast, Be Bald & Free Day? As if you needed an excuse to eat Goth alfajores! These spooky scary cookies are frighteningly good. Good enough to raise the dead. And while you’re eating the dead, be sure and listen to Los Fabulosos Cadillacs’ album Fabulosos Calavera – purported to be the Argentine funk ska band’s best album. Best to start with El Muerto of course.
Andreas has been in the kitchen again – baking up a batch of gourmet pistachio Mantecol (halva for those outside Argentina). Like alfajores, halva hails from Arabia, but it journeyed to Greece before arriving in Buenos Aires, so it retains its nut butter base (originally tahini) and crumbly goodness. Halva is a particularly international dish popular in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Central Asia and the Americas. In each locale, its name and ingredients slightly differ.
Mantecol is the brand-name for halva in Argentina – it is worshipped daily by children and eaten by the pound during the holidays. Since Cadbury bought Mantecol in 2001 and changed the recipe, your better bet for store-bought halva in Argentina is Nucrem, who still uses the original Greek recipe of the Georgalos family. You can come get Andreas’ fancy Mantecol at the cafe while it’s here!