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Cream of the crop

With the growing Latino population in the US and Europe, and following on the success of Häagen-Daz’s dulce de leche ice cream (now its most popular flavour after vanilla), there is growing demand outside of Latin America for its treasured dulce de leche.

Made by boiling milk with sugar, dulce de leche is a creamy caramel-like dessert that in South America is used in candy, layered in cakes and biscuits and spread on toast. It inspires the same loyalty and devotion as Marmite or Nutella. Who makes the best dulce de leche is a matter of intense debate among Latin Americans. Every country has its own version – cajete in Mexico, manjar blanco in Peru and Bolivia – but Argentina and Uruguay both believe they invented it. Argentina claims it as theirs, “And that really pisses off the Uruguayans,” says Regina Rebmann, owner of the popular Café Bacacay in Montevideo, Uruguay. “Talking about Dulce touches on national pride and tradition”.

Five of the best

01: La Salamandra (pictured) is the Argentine favourite.

02: Calcar con Crema is hands down the most delicious in Uruguay.

03: Itambé, made in the Brazilian countryside, is the Havaianas of dulce.

04: Coronado Cajeta has a darker, more toffee-like texture, and is made in Mexico.

05: Arequipe’s miniature container is a staple in Colombian school lunchboxes.

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