The winter is arrived, but, here in Andalusia, it doesn’t seems. Clear skies, the sun always brightening and about 17 degrees during the day.
Why don’t enjoy this good weather staying relaxed in the terrace, eating an empanadilla de borococo?
Maybe you are asking, what’s that?! Yes, so do I’ve asked to myself when I saw them for the first time in the bakery. There was a big baking tray over the counter, full of these small pasties. Wonderful! Curious, I asked to the woman: “Que llevan adentro?” (What’s inside?) “Borococo! Boniato!” Confused but even more interested, I started to search information to know more and I discovered that they are a truly delicacy of Pizarra!
In the fields around Pizarra there are not only olive trees. In the Guadalhorce Valley is possible to cultivate everything, fruits, vegetables and tubers! Yes, because if we want to understand what borococo is, first we have to understand what is the boniato.
Boniato, moniato, camote, papa dulce, batata zuccherata, batata dulce or from Málaga. Is it clear, isn’t it? In Spain, l‘Ipomoea batatas has several names. In Italy just two: sweet potato or american potato. Easy.
Hailing from America, came to Europe in the XVI Century and it got famous in all the continent. Cheap but at the same time rich of carbohydrates, sugars and starch, it was a perfect substitute of meat which, in the past, it was inaccessible for the majority of the population.
Later, its consumption decreased but in the last few years it has been rediscovered and the production is increasing. Spain is one of the biggest producer and exporters of sweet potato in Europe.
At least in Italy, my home country, we know it with a white and doughy pulp. Here instead, another surprise! The most know variety, that you can find already cooked in the bakeries in Pizarra and that is used to prepare the empanadillas, has an orange pulp. The colour is given by beta carotenes, good antioxidants and for cancer prevention. Interesting, isn’t it?
It has to be planted between March and June. During the summer it grows underground, protected from the searing andalusian sun, and in November it’s ready to be collected.
Like any potatoes it must be cooked to be consumed but we don’t lack of recipes! Sweet and salty recipes, fried, boiled or cooked in the oven. Here in Pizarra they used it to fill the empanadillas! Let see how to prepare them!
A few days after my discovery, I had the possibility to be invited here in Pizarra to assist when the Spanish television RTVE was recording an episode of “Aqui la tierra!”, a programme about local food and agriculture. First we went to a farm and then to Antonia’s house, a woman of Pizarra who taught us how to prepare good empanadillas de borococo!
But..what is it?! Yeah, sorry, I haven’t told you yet! Borococo is a sweet cream made of boiled sweet potatoes, fried almonds and peanuts, cinnamon and a lot of sugar!
The recipe that I suggest you is from a website of recipes of Pizarra. It’s similar of Antonia’s one but I have added her advices!
Ingredients: (to get about 50 empanadillas)
Ingredients to make borococo:
2 Kilos potatoes
100 g peanuts
100 g almonds
2 spoons of cinnamon in powder
1 glass of sugar
Ingredienti for empanadillas dough:
1 lemon peel
1 glass of extra virgin oil
Half glass of white wine
Half glass of red wine
A fistful of aniseed
Sugar to decorate
Olive oil to fry
Preparation of borococo:
Wash the potatoes.
Without peeling them, boil them until they are soft.
Fry the almonds and the peanuts, later blend them in a mixer to get a flour.
Once they are cooked, peel and smash them in a bowl.
Add the nuts flour, the cinnamon, the sugar and stir until the mixture is well combined.
(If some leftover, you can cook it to conserve it)
Preparation of the dough:
In a pan, heat up some oil and fry the lemon peel with the aniseed.
Once it gets colder, put these ingredients in a bowl and add the two glasses of wine.
Later, add the flour and knead the dough with the hands.
Preparation of empanadilla:
Take a bit of dough and make a small ball.
Press it and roll it out with a rolling pin.
With a teaspoon, put a small quantity of borococo cream in the centre of the empanadilla and fold in half.
Heat up some oil and fry them until they get golden.
Coat them with sugar and wait about ten minutes before try them! They taste better lukewarm!