SWEET TREATS - YUCCA CAKES AND BEEF JELLY

I was innocently walking around the Medellin streets, when suddenly I realize there is a woman massaging a tree with some kind of elastic dough. The worst is nobody else seems to find it terribly weird, and that's one of those moments when you realize that there must be a hidden camera, or you are very, very foreign. With an inevitable curiosity I approach the tree and ask the lady directly what is she doing and if it's legal. Thank God Colombians are standardly nice. That's how I discover the beef leg jelly, typical from the Antioquian region and that tastes like marshmallows, if not exactly the same. But, if its made from beef legs, is it savory? Sweet? Beef legs are used only at the beginning to extract the jelly boiling it for hours. Afterwards they strain the liquid and cook it with cinnamon, cloves, sugar and evaporated milk. This mix is left to set, and when it has curdled is when is "massaged" in a stick to obtain the final product. It's sold in little sticks or packed, leaving no traces of its bovine origin. The truth is that this jelly is "bien rica mami" (very tasty mami), although quite overly sweet and hard to finish.

The enyucados or yucca cakes, on the other hand, are in fact perfectly fine to finish, and you even can't get enough of them. They are traditionally made with yucca, coconut, coastal cheese, sugar, butter, aniseed and a pinch of salt, although some varieties do without the cheese and add yokes or coconut, horses for courses!