The Kosereva is part of the "typical disserts" family of the Paraguayan popular gastronomy and, just like its salty and sweet pairs, it has a high protein content, because of fully and scientifically tested historical reasons (*).
It's a "barreled" candy, with the hardened skin of the sour orange ("apepú", in Guarani language), cooked in black
It's a rare and paradoxical case of a candy elaborated from sour raw material. The result, naturally, is bittersweet and acid.
Origin of the name
The name "koserevá" comes from the Guaranitical derivation of the Spanish word "conserva" (preserved food).
That's because exists documentary records saying that the Spanish conquerors that came to the
Paraguayat the colonial ages, an historical period between the 16th and the 19th century (until the Paraguayan emancipation in 1811), used to preserved this citric fruits cooking them in trimmed barrels in black molasses.
There is the origin of the dessert and of its curious name.
To make the typical koserevá are needed really simple ingredients: sour oranges "pintonas" (ripe sour oranges), a lot of sugar, molasses and abundant water.
The preparation process begins peeling the skin of the oranges. Then they are cut by halves, removing the peel (a thin skin that covers some fruits and legumes as the grape, the bean, etc.) and washing them many times.
Disposed on that way, the oranges must rest in cold water about 24 hours, changing the water about every 2 or 3 hours. After that time, they are put in a sauce pan and covered again with previously sugared cold water. Heat the oranges in the water until it boils. Remove them from the fire after that.
The fruits are washed again with cold water, squeezing them smoothly one by one until they lose their sourness, and afterwards put again into cold water, in which the black molasses was previously poured.
Let the sauce pan boil for about a minute, and remove it from the fire, finishing this way, the preparation process.
If it’s wished to keep the koserevá for a long time it's necessary to add more sugar and molasses at the preparation process.
In other times, this dessert was stored in little clay vases and even in jugs.
(*) According to some scholars of social history of Paraguay, all the Paraguayan popular gastronomy, which establishes itself as a small family industry after the War of Paraguay against The Triple Alliance (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, between 1864 and 1870), is really abundant in caloric content, because of the situation that overcame to the country after the conflict. In the aftermath of the war the food was limited and the groceries were hard to find. So Paraguayan cooking has a high protein content to make up for the scarcity of every day meal.
*“Tembi’u Paraguay” JOSEFINA VELILLA DE AQUINO
*“Karú rekó – Antropología culinaria paraguaya”, MARGARITA MIRÓ IBARS
* EVP - Wikipedia
* [http://www.evp.edu.py/index.php?title=Portada Enciclopedia Virtual Paraguaya - Portal]
* [http://www.consumer.es/web/es/alimentacion/en_la_cocina/comer_por_el_mundo/2006/04/14/150926.php Consumer]
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