Alajú . A palatable dessert recipe requires small amounts of known elements. Its consumption is typical during the Christmas period, although it can be found in the market during the rest of the year.
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- 1 Ingredients
- 2 Preparation
- 3 Cooking Time
- 4 Consumption
- 5 History and Origins of Alajú
- 6 Properties and health benefits of honey
- 1 Nutrition information tables
- 7 Curiosities
- 8 Useful Tips from Grandma
- 9 Sources
- 2 kg of breadcrumbs
- 3 kg of honey
- 1 kg of almonds or walnuts
- The zest of a lemon or an orange
The honey with the sugar is put on the fire , it is cooked until it gives the point of consistent dough, once this is done we add the breadcrumbs, the almond and the orange essence, moving everything until obtaining the uniform and thick paste. With the wafers the cake is made by putting a wafer on the table, sprinkle with flour so that it does not stick to us, the pasta in the center and the other wafer on top pressing it on the sides. Put a clean cloth once this process is done and put some weight on it so that it does not sag, leaving it to rest like this for approximately two hours and ready to take at room temperature.
History and Origins of Alajú
The “alajú” shape, common in Castilla, has been documented since the 17th century, always designating some type of sweet. On the contrary, in Andalusia, derived from the same Hispano-Arab origin, the “alfajor” form appears, also to designate a type of sweet.
The first cousin of the alajú is called “alfajor” and it is also an almond sweet that, together with the amarguillos and the brown cakes, forms the emblematic group of Andalusian pastries. The alfajor was called and is still called ‘alajú’, which denotes its indisputable Arab origin. Etymologically it comes from ‘al-hasú’ which in Arabic means ‘filler’. From there it went to alajú or alhajú and more recently alfajor, keeping the name of “alajú” in La Alcarria making this sweet with honey and almonds.
The characteristic flavor that the spices give it, the alfajor, its dark color, its texture and its shape and large size, make this dessert an unattractive sweet at first sight, which is not available to all palates, especially in A first tasting, for which Dr. Thebussem himself, a great defender of the alajú, assured that “he is mortally wounded and about to disappear from modern pastries … the alfajor requires the custom of the palate …”.
This prediction has not been fulfilled, so far, thanks to the Andalusian craftsmen who constantly strive to maintain this and other traditional sweets, which continue to make the same recipe centuries ago.
The alfajores, which some call Christmas, are smaller and taste more to the taste of today’s palates, but in no way detracts from the work that the artisans of the area do to maintain the gastronomic culture of the area. stoves.
For the making of the alfajor, this saying is heard: “For the alfajor, neither machinery nor additives, only quality, stick and fire” and that maintains the tradition that goes back more than a century and a half.
Properties and health benefits of honey
Honey is a 100% natural food that never expires, at least the honey found in the tombs of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt preserves its virtues intact. The solidification of the product shows its purity and returns to the initial fluid state when heated in the “water bath “. Honey has natural antibiotic activity thanks to substances called inhibins. Such is its effectiveness, that the microbes do not survive more than a few hours in honey. Its antibiotic effects may vary slightly depending on the flowers visited by bees. Where the greatest differences are seen is between the honeys harvested in an artisanal way and those intended for wholesale, since in the latter case they sacrifice medicinal and nutritional properties in search of a more fluid presence. The antiseptic and antibiotic properties of honey are used both for its local use, taking advantage of its healing qualities, as well as for regular consumption. Its use is recommended in all types of sores, including those of the nipple and canker sores (in this case pink honey is used). Among the best-known benefits of honey is to relieve throat and pharyngeal infectionsfor its demulcent effect. The expectorant properties of honey complete its medicinal activity in all types of respiratory conditions, both infectious and irritative. Due to its enzymes, which make it a digestive food, and its high content of sugars with different absorption speeds, it is a food highly indicated in case of physical fatigue or for athletes. Among the nutritional properties of honey is its remineralizing capacity of the organism as well as its contribution of vitamins of group B. Only diabetics should be careful with their consumption. Honey is also a purifying food, since it favors liver activity. And it is even studied whether its anti-inflammatory properties could be useful in rheumatic processes.
Nutrition Information Tables
Below is a summary of the main nutrients of Alajú.
- Rich in Carbohydrates
- Vitamin D
- Almonds can be replaced by walnuts, or other nuts, not suitable for sensitive dentures due to the hardness of the cake once it is made. It can be kept for a long time without the need to keep it in the fridge.
Helpful Tips from Grandma
- Before eating food, it is advisable to wash your hands well to maintain healthy health.
- When starting the preparation of this food, we recommend using aprons, gloves and a hat so that we maintain good hygiene.
- Eat preferably after meals and with the family, which is what it is designed for.