Today we were out searching for dried barberries following a query about where to find them in Walthamstow – we failed in this mission but were amazed along the way to find a shop with South American foodstuff that we didn’t think was available in the Stow.
At S & A Groceries there is a dazzling array of different food on offer – but alongside the more familair or easy to get hold of Asian, African and Arabic flavours we found South American foods. There were blocks of panela – unrefined whole cane sugar, dulce de leche – caramelised sugar and drinking chocolate too … but also this is Bocadillo de Guayaba or guava paste.
Bocadillo is prepared much like other jams or jellies. The guavas are washed, peeled, mashed into a pulp and then strained to remove seeds. The pulp is then slowly boiled for hours with panela until it has a thick consistency. It is left to cool before being cut into blocks, then each square is individually wrapped in a bijao leaf.
Bocadillo de guayaba is similar to the Spanish quince paste membrillo or Portuguese marmalada. It is a fruity, sticky, sweet reddish hard jelly paste. It’s great spread on toast, or served with cheese like Spanish Manchego or Greek Feta. It would work well as a chutney or relish with roast meat. It can also be simply eaten on its own as a fruity sweet. It is consumed abundantly in Colombia and is famously produced in the town of town of Velez.
Great find. I’ve always’been using jaggery for my Mexican cooking so far, not knowing where to find piloncillo or panela. Thanks for sharing this knowledge!
We were really delighted to find all those south american goodies. Lots of lovely cooking ahead of us!