Enyucado, an exquisite dessert deeply rooted in the rich culinary tradition of the Colombian Caribbean, stands out for its fusion of flavors and aromas, representing the very essence of the region. With yuca (cassava) as its main protagonist, this delicacy has conquered the taste buds of locals and visitors alike, becoming a delicious hallmark of the region’s gastronomic identity.
Like other typical Afro-descendant sweets, the origins of enyucado are uncertain. The “palenqueras,” women carrying the cultural legacy from generation to generation, claim that enyucado has been a culinary treasure from time immemorial. Rooted in the history of coastal communities, this recipe has passed from mothers to daughters, evolving into a family tradition and a means of livelihood.
Enyucado in Coastal Culture
This dessert is not just a treat for the palate but also a cultural element ingrained in coastal identity. On the beaches of the Colombian Caribbean coast, it is common to find traditional vendors offering this sweet along with other typical products like cocadas and alegria. These women, carry the culinary heritage of generations, share with visitors a piece of the rich gastronomic tradition of the Colombian Caribbean.
The simplicity and versatility of enyucado are reflected in its ingredients, which can vary according to the cook’s taste. In its basic recipe, grated yuca, grated coconut, grated coastal cheese, sugar, salt, and a tablespoon of anise stand out. However, more creative individuals can experiment by incorporating two egg yolks, coconut milk, cow’s milk, or even adding wheat flour to the dough.
The preparation of enyucado is a process that requires patience and dedication. With three pounds of grated yuca, three grated coconuts, a pound of grated coastal cheese, sugar, and salt to taste, and a tablespoon of anise, a homogeneous mixture is created, becoming the soul of this dessert.
After mixing the ingredients, the anise is lightly heated to release its flavor and aroma. The mixture is poured into thin layers in a baking dish and baked for 30 or 40 minutes until it acquires an appetizing golden hue.
To add an authentic touch, banana leaves are used at the bottom of the container, creating layers that ensure even cooking. It is cooked slowly for an additional 30 minutes until the dough takes on a dark coffee tone. Then, the cake is flipped to brown the other side, completing the creation of this delicious delicacy.