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Alfajor: theory and practices

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An al­fa­jor is, in the­o­ry, a sim­ple thing. It's a dessert sand­wich. The ar­gen­tini­an al­fa­jor is usu­al­ly filled with dulce de leche, which means you just can't screw it up. Even a bad al­fa­jor is go­ing to be good.

Yes, there are some re­gion­al al­fa­jores filled with oth­er stuff. Don't pay any at­ten­tion to those im­pos­tors. They are hip­sters wear­ing fake glass­es they don't need. What you want is dulce de leche.

alfajor heaven

But the fill­ing is on­ly half of a sand­wich, and a third of an al­fa­jor. There is al­so the things that sur­round, hold and con­tain the no­to­ri­ous­ly sticky dul­ce: cook­ies. Some vari­ants have tried to im­prove on the cook­ie by ei­ther go­ing soft (cake!) or hard (Mil­ka Mousse), but the re­al deal is a soft­-ish cook­ie, not too soft (so the al­fa­jor does­n't desin­te­grate) and not too hard (so it does­n't feel like eat­ing a hock­ey puck­).

Feliz cumpleaños

There is an im­pos­si­ble trade­of­f, be­tween dulce de leche and the cook­ie. Too much cook­ie, you are eat­ing cook­ies. Too much dulce de leche, you may as well get a spoon and eat out of the jar (try it some­time). You want to bal­ance, but the al­fa­jor is walk­ing food, it has to be ed­i­ble by a 6-year old schoolkid while climb­ing a tree, it has to be sol­id enough, and not fall apart, and not cov­er him on melt­ed frost­ing. The child has to be able to pass in­spec­tion of his hands af­ter clean­ing with just the wrap­per and his own mouth.

Alfajor

The al­fa­jor santafesino has adopt­ed a min­i­max strat­e­gy, max­i­miz­ing the amount of dulce de leche per amount of cook­ie, by us­ing ex­tra-thin "cook­ies" that are more like crack­er­s, adding mul­ti­ple lay­er­s, and mak­ing the whole al­fa­jor thick­er. I love it, but it is not for ev­ery­one.

Alfajores Cordobes

The al­fa­jor de maice­na goes in a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion, hav­ing a tasty cook­ie that can hard­ly hold any dulce de leche be­cause it's too fri­able. Some­how that works won­der­ful­ly as well.

Alfajorcito de Maizena

Then there is the cov­er­ing. Choco­late, frost­ing, co­conut, or noth­ing. Choco­late is bad in sum­mer, melt­ing and mak­ing you eat the al­fa­jor from the wrap­per as if it were a ba­nana.

Ahora si... ya puedo empezar a trabajar...

But if you have no idea what an al­fa­jor is, which one should you have? I could point you to the most sub­lime al­fa­jores, which would be life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, but I will not. If you tried those, which you can on­ly get in out of the way places, known on­ly to ini­ti­ates, where could you go from there? It's like your first date be­ing with Sofía Ver­gara. That would be just lead­ing you in­to a life of dis­ap­point­men­t.

Provecho...

So get a choco­late Ha­van­na. Get a Cachafaz. Get a Capitán del Es­pa­cio. Get a tube of Jor­gi­tos. And when you have done your ap­pren­tice­ship, when you are an al­fa­jor­man, when you are ready. Then you will know.

Alfajores

PS: Thanks to Juan Ro­driguez Mon­ti for the idea for this post.

Julia Palandri / 2012-02-03 22:14:

claramente no has comido un BUEN alfajor de maicena. el alfajor de maicena, su secreto, su sabiduría, su especialidad, digamos, consiste en ser lo suficientemente rígido como para sostener un generoso relleno dulcedelechoso, y a la vez, apenas lo mordés, desarmarse en la boca. la prima de un ex mío hace los más ricos que he probado jamás. los míos solían ser una buena imitación, pero se ve que no practiqué lo suficiente. hace no sé cuánta pilas de años que no preparo. gracias Juan Rodrígez Monti por la inspiración para este finde ;) <-- http://www.flickr.com/photo...

Roberto Alsina / 2012-02-03 22:17:

1) Que viva, con repostero es más fácil
2) Es la típica falacia del "No true scotsman", típica de los maiceneros (http://en.wikipedia.org/wik... )
3) No podés comparar con la capacidad de retención dulcedelechística de un alfajor santafesino de categoría
4) ¡Quiero!

juancarlospaco / 2012-02-03 22:39:

Probaste el chiquito?, ...ahora proba el Grandote !

Roberto Rodríguez / 2012-02-03 22:39:

¿Cuál es mejor que el Havanna de chocolate? ahora me dejaste pensando

Roberto Alsina / 2012-02-03 22:40:

Nuevo slogan: "Lateral Opinion: un blog que te hace pensar!"

juancarlospaco / 2012-02-03 23:04:

I know this Alfajor()  http://pypi.python.org/pypi...

Roberto Alsina / 2012-02-04 00:25:

Alfajor con selenio == envenenamiento con metales pesados.

marianoguerra / 2012-02-05 20:25:

como cordobes es muy duro decir esto, pero creo que es mi deber alfajoristico.

no se dejen estafar por los alfajores cordobeces, si bien parecen cumplir con las reglas de los alfajores, su seca tapa y su desmedida proporcion en relacion con el relleno (que a normalmente no suele ser dulce de leche!) lo hace uno de los peores exponentes que he probado*

* sobre gustos no hay nada escrito