26 Jun A Venezuelan Desert to Sweeten up your Quarantine:
Being part of the Latino Heritage Internship program (LHIP) has been a really reflexive experience for me for two reasons:
- Because it has given me a job that I really enjoy with the National Park Service during a time where having a job at all is really difficult thing to do.
- It has given me an online Hispanic community, something I had never really sought out actively.
Growing up in Miami I never had to go far to feel I was in the company of other Hispanic people. My neighbors were Venezuelan, Cuban, Colombian, Nicaraguan, Peruvian, Mexican, Brazilian, Ecuadorian (to name a few) and while we each had our own traditions and cultures, I always was very much felt sense of Hispanic community. That sense of community that many first- and second-generation American’s feel can come with taking things for granted like:
- The ability to walk out your door and speak in English, Spanish or Spanglish, and have almost anyone understood what you are saying
- Having regular conversations about why our parents or their parents left their home countries, and understanding how difficult these sacrifices are for many families
- I cannot stress enough how much I miss walking into any bakery and ordering Arepas (Venezuela and Colombian), Croquetas (Cuban), Pan de Bono or Pão de Quesjo (Colombian and Brazilian) or Pan Dulce (Mexican, Venezuelan and many other countries love this one).
I mention these things, because I took living in Miami, a place where Hispanic communities are the norm, for granted. Having moved to Maryland ten years ago during high school I didn’t actively seek out a Hispanic community, I (like any other 14-year-old moving for their freshman year of high school) just tried to make friends and get to know my new home. I definitely experienced culture shock and trying to make Maryland feel like Miami never really became a priority. As I have grown older, I have come to understand how important culture is not just because your world is shaped by it but because when you move from a place that your culture belongs to it is so important to keep it a part of your daily life. For me this has happened a lot in the form of food, so I thought I would share one of my favorite super easy recipes that I make every Año Nuevo (New Years), Marquesa de Parchita.
Marquesa de Parchita (Passionfruit Venezuelan Delicious Frozen Cookie Cake Thing)
-Adapted from a recipe I found online in Spanish, link: https://www.comiendoenla.com/galleta-helada-de-maracuya/
- 1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 Can of Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup (or more, depending on your preference) of Passionfruit Juice
***Usually, fresh passionfruit juice is hard to find, I go to the nearest Hispanic supermarket and go to the frozen section. Goya has AMAZING frozen fruit pulp of tropical fruits. I’ve only ever made this passionfruit version, but you can substitute with any of your favorite tropical fruits***
- Maria Cookies (These you can also find at a Hispanic Supermarket, “Galletas Maria” they are called but any plain graham cracker type of cookie will do. Would definitely recommend Galleta Maria though)
1. Mix: Sweetened Condensed Milk, Heavy Creamy and Passionfruit juice or pulp until creamy.
2. In a glass or aluminum baking dish, add a thin layer of the Passionfruit mixture then add a layer of cookies. Continue to make layers like this until you are done with the mixture, making sure the passionfruit mix is the last layer on top.
3. Optional: smash some of the Galleta Maria’s and add a crumb layer on top
4. Optional: Melt a bit of the frozen juice pulp and drizzle on top for an extra bite of acidity
5. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and freeze for ~6 Hours. Before serving, let thaw for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy 🙂
Shout-out to Evelyn from the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF), we have really fun conversations every time we talk and this past conversation had me realize why I enjoy being a part of LHIP so much, for a sense of community I didn’t know I needed but am so grateful for.
Comment below if you like the recipe and send us photos if you do make it!