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A Culinary Celebration of Women’s History Month Series: Doña Pepa

Afro-Peruvian, Doña Pepa, Turrón de Doña Pepa recipe below

The Spanish started importing enslaved Africans from the Congo, Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, and others to Peru between 1520- 1530. Enslaved Africans worked in the highland mining industry and on lowland sugar plantations. In Lima, the capital city, enslaved Africans did all types of work including cooking. Similarly, an enslaved Afro Peruvian female cook named Doña Josefa Marmanill made an indelible mark on the country’s food and religious life with the creation of a anise based cookie coated with fruit syrup and highly decorated called the Turrón de Doña Pepa. According to Peruvian oral history Doña Pepa, originally known as Doña Josefa Marmanill experienced paralysis in her arms to the point of not being able to cook for her master. As result her owner set her free where she fell into dire straits without the ability to earn an income. Sometime thereafter a Black Christ (Señor de los Milagros) that another enslaved Angolan convert to Catholicism painted on a wall where people regularly gathered for prayer in 1651 supposedly healed her. The experience inspired Doña Pepa to bake what became known as El Turrón de Doña Pepa which she made each year at the time of the feast of the Señor de los Milagros. Today every October Lima is the site of one of the biggest Catholic processions and feast in the world featuring the image of the Black Christ and bakeries and street venders selling El Turrón de Doña Pepa. Here is a recipe for Turrón de Doña Pepa:

Turrón de Doña Pepa recipe: http://yanuq.com/english/recipe.asp?idreceta=423

A Culinary Celebration of Women’s History Month Series: Two Sisters

A Culinary Celebration of Women’s History Month Series: Oral Traditions