A delicious Turrón de Doña Pepa shipped directly from Lima, Peru.
Tradition is about repetition. The celebration of the established, and the United States Thanksgiving is a great example of it. But, who said that traditions can’t evolve?
As a new American, I am trying to make this one a celebration of mine. I didn’t come from the Mayflower or from the local North Americans but I am also a mix of Europeans and natives.
I am sure that the green bean casserole was not original to the Europeans who arrived here in 1620 or the natives who brought other goods to share this celebration. It came sometime in the 50’s, right? It definitely added some variations to the traditional turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
What about bringing something new to the table? My fellow Americans use that expression a lot in the corporate world. So there we go: Turrón de Doña Pepa, it is.
But what is it?
It is a dessert. A sweet, sticky, crunchy treat. It’s made of log-shaped anise-flavored cookies, arranged in layers with honey or molasses flavored by dried fruit and topped with sprinkles.
This dessert has a tradition as well.
The most common story is that it was created by Josefa Marmanillo, a Black Peruvian slave who went by the nickname of “Doña Pepa.” It was the 1800s, before slavery was abolished.
“Doña Pepa” was a faithful woman. Experiencing a paralysis of her arms, she asked the “Lord of Miracles” for help with her health. She came to Lima in October to honor the traditional procession of the Lord of Miracles. She was astounded by the multicolor and devout celebration. Being cured from her illness “Doña Pepa” offered to prepare a dessert she created for the Lord and to bring it to the procession every year. The tradition was followed by her daughter and granddaughters.
Try the turrón de Doña Pepa. I am sure the anise in it will help with your digestive process after an abundant Thanksgiving meal.