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One of the most beloved delicacies in Cuban cuisine is known as cucurucho. This sweet, popular treat is made from coconut, different types of fruit, and sugar. It is usually served in a cardboard cone. It is most commonly found in the Cuban city of Baracoa.
Preparation of cucurucho is considered to be fairly simple. First, the ingredients should be assembled. A full coconut, a fruit or multiple fruits of the cook's choice, and a sweetener are all that is generally needed. The fruits usually consist of tropical favorites, like guava or pineapple. Sweet oranges are another favorite fruit to use in cucurucho recipes.
When preparing the Cuban dessert, the coconut is first cut and boiled until it is as soft as the cook prefers. The other fruit or fruits are then added until they, too, are soft enough. Typical cucurucho dishes call for fruit that is only slightly soft for a deliciously sweet flavor coupled with a softened fruit texture.
The sweetening agent used in cucurucho recipes is typically honey. Most sugars would also work in the sweet if preferred. Alternative and low-calorie sweeteners may work as well. Chefs can experiment to discover which type of sweetener they favor best. The sweetener is added after the fruit is softened, and the entire mixture is then stirred until all of the ingredients are combined well into a homogenous mixture.
As the fruit cooks, it may also be flavored with additional spices and herbs. Anise is a common spice used to flavor cucurucho. Other favorite flavoring options include cinnamon and cloves. Though these are the traditional spices used in Cuba, cooks may add any other flavoring agents that they enjoy to build additional layers of flavoring.
Once the compote is complete, the entire mixture is then cooled before serving. Traditional serving methods include packing the sweet into some type of conic device, such as a confectionery cone or cardboard cone. Wrapping up the dessert in palm fronds is another typical native way to serve the fruity treat. It may even be packed and wrapped completely and adorned with a handle for easy carrying, though many people enjoy eating it immediately out of the cone.
In North America, cucurucho might be considered a sort of soul food. It is considered to be a labor of love, prepared with a Cuban's past experiences, and his or her own affection, going into the sweet as it cooks. Each individual treat is mindfully prepared, as if it will be eaten by the preparer or someone close to him or her.