A highlight of my visit to San Pedro last fall was cooking lessons with Josefa. Again! This time we made Garbanzo en Dulce, a special treat for Semana Santa, with help from Maria.
Garbanzo beans have a tough skin that Josefa described as 'plastico'; it has to be removed and to that end the beans are boiled with ceniza - ashes from the fire. Water was added and the courser bits of ash were sorted and strained out before the pot was put on the fire to heat.
Meanwhile we sorted the beans carefully to remove pebbles. Our aprons were handy as well as colorful!
The sorted beans were transferred to the pot and boiled for about 15 minutes.
The next step was rinsing the ceniza and skins from the beans, a process that took about a dozen labor intensive steps.
The clean beans were transferred to a pot of water with sticks of cinnamon and boiled for about 2 hours.
Next we peeled and sliced plantains and added them to the pot with additional water.
The last ingredient was panela - large blocks of pure dried sugar cane juice. The mixture needed to be stirred regularly to avoid burning the panela on the bottom of the pan. The mix simmered for another hour before cooling over night to be enjoyed on Viernes Santos - Good Friday.
The result looks like baked beans to us and is incredibly sweet.
You can find the complete photo collections for this trip HERE.