What Is the History of Arroz Con Leche?

It is thought that the basic recipe for arroz con leche or Spanish rice pudding was brought to Spain during the Moorish conquest of the region. Arroz con leche is a sweet rice-based dish prepared by slowly simmering the rice in milk while gradually incorporating the remaining components.

In 711, the Moors invaded and occupied the Iberian Peninsula, which includes modern-day Spain, until they were finally expelled at the end of the 15th century. The concept that arroz con leche was influenced by the Moors arises from the fact that rice pudding recipes, such as cinnamon and rice mixes, are part of traditional Arabic cuisine.

The original recipe for arroz con leche was carried to South America during the Age of Exploration, when it spawned numerous regional variations. Typical Spanish rice pudding recipes add cinnamon, raisins, and vanilla to increase flavour. Other ingredients may be added to South American variations of arroz con leche, such as nutmeg and butter in the Costa Rican version and chocolate and cayenne pepper in the Mexican dish.

In addition to rice, milk, and sugar, the traditional Spanish arroz con leche recipe calls for egg yolks, cinnamon, and lemon rinds as the primary ingredients. Rice is boiled in milk, and frequent stirring is required to keep the rice at the bottom of the pot from burning. Additionally, the remaining ingredients are boiled in milk, which is then added to the boiling rice. After being prepared, the dish can be served hot or cold.


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