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Alfajores Origin and
History

 

Alfajores originate from Andalusia, Spain
during the population of the Moors. 1The
moor people, by definition is a member of the Muslim population, or Moroccan
that is now a member of Spain or Portugal. 2
Alfajor stems from an Arabic word ???????, which
means luxury.3 Some culinary
experts have noticed that there are many similarities between the alfajore and
mammoul, a buttery cookie made of dates sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Alfajores are very popular through Argentina, Uruguay and Peru. The classic
cookie is made of flour sugar and eggs, honey,
almonds and several spices, such as cinnamon sandwiching Dulce de Leche. Alfajores have
changed throughout the years, changing whether the filling is Dulce de Leche,
jam, chocolate, or crème. The cookie can be left to be eaten as a plain
sandwich and not topped at all, but some add meringue
coatings, dip it in milk chocolate, coconut or a sugar glaze.4
 When the
Spanish conquered parts of the world such as Latin America they took the idea
of the alfajor with them and adapted them to the local ingredients that were
available. This is why alfajores differ in different regions in Latin America.5
In the year 712, Musa
Ibn Nusair the Arab General arrived in Algeciras with an 18,000-man army to
initiate the conquest of Medina Sidonia,
Alcala de Guadaria and Carmona. A
similar dessert called alajú is found in the Arabic-Hispanic
cookbook Kitab al-Tabikh, by an anonymous author. The Spanish grammarian Nebriia chose the word for the first
time in his Latin-Spanish Dictionary (1492) as: Alfaxor or Alaxur. Another
author Raimundo Martin in his book Vocabuliata describes another possible
derivation, fasur, meaning ‘nectar’. 6  Across Argentina and Peru alone there are 15 varieties
of the alfajor. 7
The Chilean version of the cookie are unusual when it comes to ingredients, the
dough is very egg based, and Chileans only roll on one side of the dough,
causing a leaf effect to the cookie. 8
alfajores are commonly sold around Christmas but they are sold year-round as
well. According to Guinness World Records, the biggest alfajor in the
world, measuring in almost two meters in diameter and 80cm in height and
weighing 464 kg, was made on  December 11th
2010 in Minas, Lavalleja
Department, Uruguay. 9

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1 https://www.leaf.tv/articles/the-history-of-alfajores/

2 https://www.britannica.com/topic/Moor-people

3 http://www.sweetoothdesign.com/cookie-alfajores

4 https://www.leaf.tv/articles/the-history-of-alfajores/

 

5 https://looksouthtours.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/all_about_alfajores/

6 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfajor

7 http://www.splitbeancoffee.com/history-of-alfajores.html

8 http://globaltableadventure.com/recipe/chilean-alfajores/

9 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfajor

 

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