La Lechera Dulce de Leche @ Grocery Outlet – Review

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As an Argentinian I grew up eating dulce de leche every day.  We ate it on sliced bread and toast and in pastries and cakes of all types.  We use it as a topping for flan and, of course, in panqueques (crepes).  And as an Argentinian I still LOVE dulce de leche.  For years, I made the fake kind by boiling cans of condensed milk.  Then a bit over a decade ago importation of Argentian products took off and I started being able to get the *real thing*, all the way from Argentina.

Alas, in recent years the Argentinian economy has been doing relatively well, and the American economy has not, so the peso is relatively strong now against the dollar.  This means that authentic Argentine dulce de leche is pretty expensive,  about $10 for a 1.5lb jar at Los Angeles Latino supermarkets (where I usually get it, as it’s cheaper over there).  Needless to say, I don’t get it much.

For that reason I was thrilled to find La Lachera Dulce De Leche at only $2lb (at the San Leandro Grocery Outlet).  I compared the ingredients with those in regular dulce de leche and they’re pretty close (milk and sugar) – though La Lechera’s doesn’t contain vanilla but includes salt as well as sodium and disodium phosphates, in addition to a preservative. I’ve no idea why.

As for the taste? La Lechera’s dulce de leche is pretty good.  It’s thinner than dulce de leche I’m used to, but then again it comes in a bottle with a picture of pancakes, so clearly it’s marketed as a topping not a spread.  The taste is pretty close, though perhaps a bit more intense.  It may be left to caramelize for longer than regular dulce de leche (though I’m not sure why it’d be thinner, then).  In all, at $2lb it’s a great alternative to the real thing.  These bottles retail normally for about $3.50 to $5.  The ones at the San Leandro Grocery Outlet expire in May 2012, but they should last longer than that.

 

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