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Friday, July 22, 2011


Alfeñiques from Ciudad de
Santiago del Estero(Argentina)
Photo by: ANI1709

OCast alfenique, Hisp Ar fa[y]níd, Ar fānīd (refined sugar or pulled taffy), Pers pānid, Sans phanita, Eng 1.  sweet boiled almond paste. Sugar is boiled three times and poured into cone shaped molds. These were then softened with almond oil and made into a paste. Anon. Andalus used it as an ingredient added at the end of cooking sweet bread or breadcrumbs. It is mentioned in the Archpriest of Hita among other sweets consumed in Christian Spain during the 14th C. It is a custom inherited from the Moors to eat it to clear the throat and chest and it was given to sickly children. It was cut into narrow strips and rolled into pellets to be placed in the mouth of the child. Today it is a Mexican sweet made into figures and decorated especially for Halloween and Christmas. 2. col. skinny, weak. [Anón/Huici.1966:392:214:426:235:467:255-256: etc; Covarrubias. 1998:83:b34; ES: RAE. 2001; and Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:248; Ruíz/Brey. 1965:1336a:206:263; and Singleton. 1975:127]

Toluca Feria Alfenique 15(Mexico)Photo by: dimitridf

#474 ALFEÑIQUE, p 259
For 1 batch


2 cups granulated sugar1 c water
lemon juice from two lemons
orange peel or anise seeds
2 tsp meringue powder (added today to harden sugar)


Place sugar, water and meringue powder in a saucepan and heat until it becomes a thick syrup. Add lemon juice. When it reaches the consistency of a ball, add orange peel or anise. Beat until the syrup reaches a spreading consistency. Pour it on an oiled surface and stretch it by hand until it turns white. They take small portions and roll them into balls and left dry for 15 hours. If figures, such as skulls, are desired pour the sugar mixture into molds. After 12 hours remove the candy from the molds and scrape each piece. Let them dry three more hours. Then decorate them with sugar and water icing.


  1. El otro día me divertí mucho con el alfeñique, porque es una expresión
    que se usa, aunque ya no se sabe de donde viene, para decir que uno está
    flacucho y endeble. Y este dulce se usaba precisamente para fortalecer a la gente (especialmente los niños) enfermos!!

  2. Right again - "alfeñique" is an expression used to mean skinny and weak because this candy is used to strengthen the sick (especially children)!