Longmont, Colo.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–December 10, 2003–Cooking and sharing a meal with family and friends is a deeply rooted tradition that becomes even stronger during the Holiday season for many families. During the holidays, most celebrations revolve around the table where families gather to feast and enjoy traditional treats. This time of year, many of the favorite and most popular dishes served include a sweet ingredient: honey.
Many households around the nation with Latin American roots enjoy the familiar tastes of turrón, alegrías or buñuelos during the season and all of these treats include honey as a key ingredient. Aside from being a great natural sweetener to add to desserts and treats, this versatile ingredient also can be used in preparing meats, such as chicken, pork and other main dishes.
“Honey adds a special flavor and texture to recipes and I enjoy adding it to my dishes to make them more special. For example, glazing honey over your turkey or pernil to be served Christmas Eve will give it a sweet and delicious flavor the whole family will enjoy,” said Dallas-based chef and mom Dunia Borga, whose Latino menu mixes new flavors with recipes that have been shared in her family for generations.
According to research from the National Honey Board, many Hispanic families use honey 4 to 5 times a day on average. Since honey is an ingredient that is not only very familiar but present in many households, Borga recommends that home cooks incorporate it when preparing special meals for their families.
“As Latinas, we are known for being great hostesses and taking good care of our family and we take great pride in making home-cooked meals that everyone in the family can enjoy. This season, we can surprise family and friends with home-made chocolate turrón, or other sweet treats when we are looking for new ideas to serve at our tables,” said Borga.
According to Hispanic consumers, honey also is used in traditional Holiday treats such as pecan rolls, buñuelos and honeycomb are left out for children to enjoy during the Mexican Posadas. Historical data shows honey has been used as part of the culture for many centuries, dating back to Mayans and Aztecs.
This Holiday season, ideas for honey-based recipes are available from Borga by visiting http://www.honey.com.
About the chef:
Dunia Borga is co-owner and pastry chef of La Duni Latin Café in Dallas, selected in 2003 as one of the top 50 Hispanic restaurants in the nation by Hispanic Magazine. In December 2003, she was selected as the best pastry chef in Dallas by D Magazine, an award given by her peers. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Dunia’s favorite dishes are steeped in family traditions. She is married to Espartaco Borga, also a chef, who co-owns La Duni. Espartaco was born in Madrid, Spain and his parents are from Venezuela and Mexico. The Borga’s cooking style combines their Latin heritages and love of Hispanic flavors. They have a son, Brandon.
About the National Honey Board:
Based in Longmont, Colorado, the National Honey Board provides consumers with honey information and recipes at http://www.honey.com, and serves honey producers, packers, and importers around the world through generic honey research, promotion and marketing.
Honey-Roasted, Caramelized Hazelnuts smothered in Milk Chocolate
Chocolate turrón, also known as, Honey-Roasted, Caramelized Hazelnuts smothered in Milk Chocolate, is a delicious recipe perfect for sharing with friends and family.
1 lb. skinless raw hazelnuts*
1 cup honey
1 1/2 lbs. milk chocolate, chopped in small pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place hazelnuts in a large bowl and pour honey over the top. Gently fold with a rubber spatula until all the nuts are fully covered.
Spread evenly in one layer on a lined sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes until honey has turned a deep golden brown or caramel color. (Honey can easily burn so don’t let it get too dark.)
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Make sure all hazelnuts are still covered with the caramelized honey. (You may have to scoop the honey and nuts towards the center of the pan as the mixture cools.) Let cool completely until hard and brittle.
In the top of a double boiler, melt milk chocolate slowly until fully melted. Spread chocolate on top of hazelnuts making sure to cover the top entirely. Let cool completely, then cut or break in squares or chop and serve alone or on top of your favorite desserts or ice cream.
*If unable to find skinless hazelnuts place them on a flat sheet pan and bake for 10 to 20 minutes at 350°F. Remove and rub with a towel until all skin is removed.