In the kitchen with Sra. Clara Lozano: Brevas


Clara Lozano and her husband, Alvaro Palacios

Clara Lozano and her husband, Alvaro Palacios

Clara and her family have a special place in my heart.  I first met them when I rented an apartment from them for almost six months while researching the Bogota back.  I have been back several times since, and I always stay with the Palacios..  They are wonderful people who typify the kind and generous nature of Colombians in general.

The other day, while at the fruit market, I purchased several Brevas.  Despite all of my previous visits  – I remained fairly ignorant of this particular Colombian fruit, which is a type of fig.

Mangostinos and brevas.  Brevas are the small green fruit

Mangostinos and brevas. Brevas are the small green fruit

So, Clara was kind enough to share a recipe for making a desert of Brevas that has been in her family for over 100 years, which I will now share with you.  As a spectacularly bad cook – I was smart enough not to get too close as we were cooking, but I took copious notes.  (When I cook, the fire department is often involved.)

The recipe is fairly simple – simple enough that I can probably manage myself next time.  The ingredient list includes: Brevas, washed and rinsed, about a half cup of sugar (or panela) and cinnamon.

panela

panela

1. After rinsing the brevas, cut of the ends.  Then partually section each breva.  (Do not cut into pieces, just make a small cut at the top of the breva, extending about half way down the fruit).

2. Place in a saucepan, and cover with water.

3. Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sugar (or panela) to the mixture.. and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (or one small stick of cinnamon broken into smaller pieces)

4. Boil until the mixture thickens to a syrupy glaze (about 20 – 25 minutes.)  This mixture will be dark brown (from the cinnamon).

Boiling brevas: Photo by Camila

Boiling brevas: Photo by Camila

5.  Serve warm with a slice of mild cheese (queso de crema).

finished brevas

Traditionally served with a mild white cheese and cold milk

Traditionally served with a mild white cheese and cold milk

Delicious!  The cheese is a perfect contrast to the sweet rich taste of the brevas..

For more about Colombian fruits

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