Dulce de leche is a classic confection traditionally made by simmering milk and sugar until it caramelizes.
Though some trace its origins to Chile, there are those who credit its invention to Argentina, where it has some interesting origins. Many believe it was discovered by accident in the early 1800s by a cook employed by the federal forces, who left a pot of sugary hot milk unattended.
But there are those who claim that it was invented earlier somewhere in the Spanish colonies and brought to the Philippines around the 16th century, while the country was also under Spanish colonial rule.
But no matter where it came from, the delicacy has truly spanned cuisines. In Spanish, dulce de leche means "candy made of milk." In Chile and Peru, dulce de leche goes by a different name: manjar blanco. In neighboring Colombia, dulce de leche goes by arequipe while up north, in Mexico, it is called cajeta. The French have their own take on dulce de leche, with confiture de lait.
It may go by many names, but its flavor is universal.
Filipino Cuisine is Defined by Fusion
Over the years, the delectable confection has been used to flavor local Filipino favorites, like glutinous rice cakes (suman and bibingka), cookies, and leche flan.
This is one of the many reasons why Filipino cuisine has been deeply defined by fusion. Aside from the flavors of Latin America, other cultures have influenced Filipino cuisine over the years.
Take, for instance, the Chinese, whose influence brought an array of dishes and cooking techniques, like stir-fried pancit and steamed (or deep-fried) lumpia. These two have become some of the most iconic Pinoy dishes.
Another popular delicacy brought by the Chinese are salted duck eggs.
Before it became a trendy flavor across the globe, salted eggs have been a breakfast staple in the Philippines, where it's traditionally served with garlic rice, eggs, tomatoes, and cured meats like pork tocino and beef tapa.
The process of curing salted eggs is a practice that involves burying salted duck eggs (usually using soil in a clay pot) and "harvesting" them after 14 days.
Salted Egg Dulce de Leche: A Salty-Sweet Fusion with Every Bite
Dulce de Leche and Salted Eggs are flavors that may seem poles apart, but as we recently discovered, they can actually work together.
Lick The Spoon's Salted Egg Dulce De Leche makes this possible by bringing together the timeless flavors of dulce de leche and salted eggs, achieving a perfect balance between the sweetness of milk caramel and the umami flavor of salted duck eggs.
Salted Egg Dulce De Leche is the brainchild of Chef Arnold Bernardo, who has created over fifty kinds of bottled and preserved food, ranging from sweet to savory, or both.
Making dulce de leche was something Chef Arnold grew up with. In their household, it was not uncommon to spend hours creating this from scratch. Later on, he drew inspiration from his childhood and infused natural flavors and homegrown ingredients into his homemade dulce de leche, like coconut, chocolate, parmesan, and matcha.
Through his artisanship, he wants to showcase Filipino ingenuity and innovation to a global audience.
Salted Egg Dulce de leche can be enjoyed with an array of different dishes, from traditional rice cakes, like suman and bibingka, to bagels, crackers or scones. You can even have it straight out of the bottle (Why not, right?)
You can find Lick The Spoon's Salted Egg Dulce de Leche in our Summer Harvest Chibundle, a fresh collection of unique, homegrown Filipino delicacies.
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lead image: Danny O (flickr) and pxhere