On November 1st, Guatemala celebrates All Saints’ Day, a very traditional and colorful festivity in Guatemala, on this day the Giant Kites event takes place in Sumpango and Santiago Sacatepequez (click here to learn more about this date) and families and close friends get together to enjoy delicious national dishes, the Sweet Pumpkin (Dulce de Ayote) is one of them.
A very important part of this national festivity is ‘El Fiambre’ (learn about here) and many delicious desserts unique to Guatemala. A very popular one is ‘El Dulce de Ayote’ or ‘Ayote en Dulce’ (Sweet Pumpkin). This dessert is part of the typical gastronomic wealth of Guatemala. An ancient recipe of long tradition in the families of this country. The recipe is simple and the ingredients are not many, so we will share how to prepare it yourself.
Just so you know, the ‘ayote’ fruit is originally from Latin America territories and there are two kinds, yellow or black, it is a ground creeping plant. It is also known as the pumpkin in Guatemala, but it is not the same as the Pumpkin fruit know in North America or Europe. The Both, Ayote Negro and Ayote Amarillo taste the same, but the Ayote Negro (Black Pumpkin) is a little bit stronger.
- 1 Ayote (raw).
- 2 pieces of panela.
- 1 liter of cold water.
- 5 crushed black peppers.
- Cinnamon sticks.
- 4 cloves
- 1 Orange (sliced and with its peeling)
- 1. Wash and chop the ayote medium size pieces or chunks, leave the skin (this is key for the boiling process) and remove the seeds and then add them to a large enough pot to cook them all in.
- 2. You can either ground the panela to add it to the pot, or cut the panela in small enough pieces to dissolve in the boing water.
- 3. Add the liter of water, remember that there should be enough water to cover all the ayote pieces inside the pot. Bring to boil for 10 to 15 mins.
- 4. Add the remaining ingredients and cover the pot and reduce the heat turning down the simmer for another 45 mins. Stir occasionally.
- 5. Finally, remove the pot from the heat and let cool. The ‘Ayote’ will be tender and sweet.