Friday, July 2, 2010
Panela and Agua Dulce....
We are having many "first time" experiences here. We went to a man's home in town that makes Panela and Agua Dulce. What is that? Let us explain.....He takes sugar canes and crushes them in this machine..... Here is Pat supervising....Then he takes all of the juice and starts to cook it over a fire. The juice starts to change during each phase of cooking and the Costa Rican people us it in various ways. Agua Dulce translates to Sweet Water. You can drink the juice "raw" straight from the press or you can cook it and it because a little "caramelized." The cooked version is called Agua Dulce and is a very common drink in Costa Rica. Infact, here are many local people who are lining up with their bowls and pans so that that they can fill them up and take the Agua Dulce home. These are molds for the Panela. The closest thing to Panela is brown sugar. They reduce the Agua Dulce and create hard rounds of sugar that people cook with, etc. You might have seen Panela in your local grocery store in the states when walking down the International foods aisle. There is a sugar foam that forms on top of the Auga Dulce while cooking it. Here Pat is tasting some of the foam. We didnt think that there was much flavor in the foam but it was fun to try. It was a fun thing to see and we give Agua Dulce a big THUMBS UP!
Posted by nymanzanita at 6:04 AM