All about Spain. Rice Pudding (arroz con leche)
Rice pudding (arroz con leche) is a Spanish typical creamy dessert. To prepare it you have to slowly cook the rice together with milk and sugar. The origin of this dessert is the need to take advantage of the leftovers, as so many other traditional dishes. It can be eaten cold or hot and be flavored with cinnamon, orange or lemon peel, vanilla, cardamom and rosemary honey. In case you want it to be more creamy you can add some cream and condensed milk if you would like to sweeten it a bit more.
It is widely believed that rice pudding was introduced in Spain many centuries ago, during the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. This theory is based on the fact that there are many traditional mixtures of rice and cinnamon in Arab cultures and also because Arabs introduced some food products in the Peninsula like rice, sugar, lemons and cinnamon.
Some resources identify Andalucia as the first place making this dessert where they began flavoring milk with cinnamon, lemon or orange peel, while others say that it is Asturias, which have an excellent rice pudding thanks to the great quality of their milk, the selection of the rice or the final cooking touch that they give to the dessert.
At the beginning the recipe was cooked with honey until the arrival of sugar cane and now is currently prepared with white sugar, although honey can be used as well.
This dessert provides foods of great nutritional value such as slow assimilation sugars, proteins and calcium.
Nowadays this dessert can be found in many countries around the world, including the former Spanish colonies (comprising many South American countries) and even some parts of Asia.
It is clear that rice pudding is one of the adults', youngsters and kids favourite dessert and there are countless recipes passed on among generations.
We want to share an easy and delicious recipe of the famous Spanish chef Karlos Arguiñano so you can enjoy its flavor!