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Where can I buy Argentine Dulce de Leche

uwebres May 18, 2008 10:06 AM

I have made it myself, and had Dulce de Leche from other countries, but the stuff I had in Buenos Aires was out of this world. The markets there had shelves of the stuff, any available around here?

  1. s
    sailorblue May 18, 2008 11:53 AM

    I used to see it at Whole Foods but haven't lately. Might be worth a call to see if it will be re-stocked. Also, its only takes a can of sweetened condenced milk and about an hour to make it at home. Check out realsimple.com or saveur.com for recipes.

    1. Kip McSkipster May 18, 2008 12:01 PM

      I ate a ton of dulce de leche in Buenos Aires and I concur that it was great. What I'd really love to know is if there are any Argentinean (dulce de leche) pastries around? In particular, I really enjoyed one that was a little pie shell filled with dulce de leche, somehow piled in to resemble stalagmites.

      1. v
        VTtoMAtoCAfoodie May 18, 2008 12:20 PM

        I bought some last month at the whole foods in Arlington. If I remember correctly it was in the same section as the peanut butter.

        3 Replies
        1. re: VTtoMAtoCAfoodie
          Ralphie_in_Boston May 19, 2008 06:27 AM

          Where's the Whole Foods in Arlington?

          1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
            VTtoMAtoCAfoodie May 20, 2008 07:58 AM

            Sorry, I guess it's in Cambridge. The Fresh Pond Whole foods is the one I was refering too :P

            1. re: VTtoMAtoCAfoodie
              Ralphie_in_Boston May 20, 2008 08:28 AM

              I'd thought that's what you meant, but they're opening new locations so rapidly I can't keep up!

        2. m
          mem53 May 19, 2008 05:18 AM

          Market Basket in Woburn has at least one brand of dulce de leche on the shelf- I think it was in the Mexican/Spanish foods section. I usually make my own with sweetened condensed milk (gently boil can for two hours and presto!). There is a bakery in the center of Stoneham- right next to Kromel's restaurant- and they have homemade alfajores. I imagine they do cakes/pastries with dulce de leche too. Not the best alfajores I have ever had, but they work when you have a craving!

          1. u
            uwebres May 19, 2008 05:42 AM

            Thanks for the info, there must be something in the milk used in Buenos Aires that makes it just right. Or maybe it was being in a fabulous city on a great vacation, everything tastes better that way.

            4 Replies
            1. re: uwebres
              Bob Dobalina May 19, 2008 05:53 AM

              FYI - I have never seen Argentinian dulce - always some other country of origin - I have a very dear friend who is Argentinian, whose family would ship and fly the real thing up. It does have a unique taste to me too - less sweet and more complex than what we typically get here in the U.S. Hey, I'll ask him!

              1. re: Bob Dobalina
                Velda Mae May 19, 2008 07:58 AM

                La Salamandra is Argentinian and I've seen it in several stores around here. The Whole Foods in Newton had it as did Formaggio in Cambridge.

              2. re: uwebres
                overproofed May 19, 2008 08:04 AM

                I haven't looked in a while, but Hi-Lo foods in JP always carried dulce de leche from Argentina, as well as at least one brand from Uruguay (which a South American friend preferred).

                1. re: overproofed
                  Bob Dobalina May 19, 2008 08:07 AM

                  Awesome - I am always betting the under on the Hi-Lo and the house keeps winning. Very underrated.

              3. Cio May 20, 2008 11:33 AM

                Hi Uwebres,
                This may sound crazy but it really works. My father showed me the trick when I was a child and we always enjoy our home made "Dulce de Leche". Just buy a can of condensed milk, any brand you prefer, remove the paper around the can, boil the entire can in a pot of water for about 5 to 4 hrs.,supervising the pot to add water when need. and Voila, you have home made Dulce de Leche.
                Try it out and let me know!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Cio
                  uwebres May 20, 2008 11:44 AM

                  Thanks for the info. I'll post recipe results and Whole Food trip results when they happen.

                  1. re: Cio
                    Bob Dobalina May 20, 2008 11:47 AM

                    I've done that. (I think it was a NY Times recipe at one point, so try googling).
                    It was actually really pretty good, although time consuming, and not *quite* the same. But a fun substitute.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina
                      itaunas Jun 16, 2008 01:07 PM

                      It doesn't have to be time consuming, if you have a pressure cooker you can cook the can anywhere from 30-45 minutes depending on how dark you want the custard. Make sure you use a can that doesn't have any dents, take the label off, and use plenty of water. You MUST cool the can before opening, though, unlike the slower method. Its common in Brazil to cook the can in a pot of beans as they take roughly the same amount of time in a pressure cooker. Note that you can make dulce de leite normally in about the same time as boiling the can (2-3 hours). Just start with milk and good quality sugar (Brazilian markets often have nice imported sugar in crystals) and there are even types of doce de leite made with milk that has already started to turn or induced into creating curds via an acid or using yogurt.

                  2. u
                    uwebres May 21, 2008 06:54 PM

                    Success!!! Whole Foods Alewife had two Argentine varietys. An "artisanal" as well as a mass market. Both were excellent. They are actually placed amongst the ice cream toppings. Thanks for the advice

                    1. v
                      Velda Mae Jun 16, 2008 12:11 PM

                      I saw La Salamandra at Russo's today. It's under the counter across from the cash registers.

                      1. d
                        dulce de leche Jun 16, 2008 02:14 PM

                        Good to know! My friend gave me some she got at the Harvard Square farmer's market. It's a fair trade version. FYI

                        1. s
                          sailorblue Jun 29, 2008 11:35 AM

                          If you are still looking, I was at Russo's today and they Dulce de Leche from Argentina near the registers on a shelf below the peaches. Having not seen it at Russo's before I'm not sure if its just a temporary item but hopefully it will be stocked year round.

                          1. b
                            bee Jun 29, 2008 06:15 PM

                            I don't know if any of it is from Argentina, but there are a gazillion kinds of dulce de leche at the Brazilian grocery in Union Square.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: bee
                              VivreManger Jul 15, 2008 01:08 PM

                              Second, the Brazilian grocery in Union Square, Somerville, option. I have picked it up there a few times. I suspect that it is cheaper than Whole Wallet and William Sonoma.

                              1. re: VivreManger
                                itaunas Jul 16, 2008 12:55 PM

                                And if you are talking about Pao de Acucar, it may pay to shop around other Brazilian stores as on some items I have found it more expensive than other area stores. Some with just as much selection of doce de leite

                                1. re: itaunas
                                  VivreManger Jul 16, 2008 03:49 PM

                                  Any names and addresses for Brazilian stores other than Pao de Acucar.

                                  1. re: VivreManger
                                    itaunas Jul 16, 2008 05:32 PM

                                    When I compared prices between Armazen (which I thought was expensive), Pao de Acucar came out more expensive. Its on Medford St near Magoun Sq. Gol Supermarket at the end of Somerville ave used to have more in stock, but may have better prices. Tony's Foodland on Lower Broadway and La Sultana Market across from Star on Broadway are both latino markets serving a Brazilian clientele and have lots of options. Pastelaria Vitoria Broadway also on lower Broadway has less stock, but pretty good prices. Casa de Carnes Solucao also in Union has a lot of goods, but I think they are more pricey on non-meat products than Pao de Acucar. Brazil Legal on Mystic has served an excellent sonho (brazilian donut) filled with doce de leite, but would probably be last on my list for shopping.

                                    Note that you need to be careful about checking validity dates on products. In fact some of the stores which have more variety, unfortunately have more past their date products.

                                    1. re: itaunas
                                      dulce de leche Jul 16, 2008 06:58 PM

                                      Hey itaunas, which one is good to go to for agua de coco?

                                      I hope I don't get moderated for being off-topic, but it didn't seem worth starting a new thread for...

                                      1. re: dulce de leche
                                        itaunas Jul 16, 2008 09:19 PM

                                        The places where I have seen green coconuts are La Sultana (with the greatest frequency and sometimes hidden a bit), Casa de Carnes, and also at times at La Internacional. Market Basket in Chelsea also carried them last year, but pretty dried out. Petisco's near Armazen on Medford St not only offered them, but had them chilled and opened for you -- no hacking required, but was definitely charging a premium over La Sultana. Agua de coco in a can is pretty limited to Goya, so buy it at DeMoulas or the Asian (I think mostly from thailand and vietnam) versions with coconut meat at the Super88. I'd look for the green coconuts unless you are really thirsty or want to mix it with whiskey. That said I haven't seen them recently, but will poke around at the weekend.

                                        While I haven't seen green coconuts at the Pastelaria, they got a really nice looking shipment of fresh (not frozen) sugar cane while I was there last week... So garapa/caldo de cana might be something to seek out (Padaria Brasil in Union, Allston, Framingham usually has it too and I think Pao de Acucar might
                                        offer it, but not certain).

                                        Fruit pulp from this years harvest was recently stocked, so vitaminas/batidas are also a good bet. Casa de Carnes has a pretty large selection in their freezer to make at home (they sell both individual portions and multi-portion packets).

                                        1. re: itaunas
                                          dulce de leche Jul 17, 2008 02:12 PM

                                          Oh, obrigada! I am on my way to Market Basket, so I will check out Casa de Carnes. I am excited to check out the frozen vitaminas! I don't know La Sultana, but looking it up, it's right near my friend's house, so will check that out, too.
                                          I got them at Gol! once, or what was there before Gol, but they were terrible!

                                          I really don't love the Goya can, and there are a few new brands of agua de coco packaged in cartons that I am meaning to try. Vita Coco, O.N.E., and Zico. They're marketed more to the Whole Foods crowd, like a sports drink, without any meat. The one I've had Vita Coco, was very good.

                                          1. re: dulce de leche
                                            itaunas Aug 19, 2008 09:57 AM

                                            BTW, Dulce de Leche the Chelsea Market Basket is now offering a couple more agua de cocos, including new boxes from Du Coco (a Brazilian brand which offers pretty decent coconut milk in boxes) and I think one of those brands you mentioned above. I got a couple of Green Coconuts there (theirs tend to be a bit brown compared to other stores and the pricing is a random because the registers don't have it) for $1.99 each. I haven't seen those coconut waters show up in Somerville, but didn't go there this week.

                            2. p
                              pink dress Jul 15, 2008 12:19 PM

                              Williams Sonoma sells it . . . Copley Mall.

                              1. a
                                avial Jul 16, 2008 12:43 PM

                                try Hi-Lo Foods in JP on Centre St, lots of brands of dulce de leche, though not sure if any are of Argentine origin.

                                1. m
                                  madmelanie Jul 16, 2008 05:30 PM

                                  Las Ventas, the Spanish grocery sibling of Estragon, has it, but not positive it was Argentinian.

                                  1. b
                                    bolides Aug 19, 2008 09:22 AM

                                    the Savenor's in Cambridge has La Salamandra, but only in the relatively smaller jar (as opposed to the tin you can buy in Argentina)...i believe it was around $7-$8

                                    1. Dr.Jimbob Aug 19, 2008 08:55 PM

                                      Capone's in Union Square sells at least one or two brands also, but the last few times I've bought dulce de leche, it was La Salamandra from Whole Foods (yum).

                                      Havanna was the other default brand that I remember from BA. I haven't found a reliable source stateside, apart from possibly a shop in Houston TX.

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