When you visit South America, perhaps the last thing on your mind is food. But even when you do think about food, how often would you want to try a dessert?! That said, it was during a trip to Peru that I discovered one of my favourite desserts from the whole continent…
This popular dessert has its origins from Spain but was brought over to Peru during the 18th century, and it has definitely stood the test of time. While perhaps Peruvian desserts are not as famous as Brazilian or Argentinian desserts, Suspiro Limeño (sometimes called Suspiro de Limena or Limeno Suspiro) is nevertheless one of the best-looking from the entire continent – and I can attest that it tastes as good as it looks!
It is difficult to find a restaurant in Peru that doesn’t serve Suspiro Limeño. But what is it made of, you might ask?! Well, it is actually based around major blanco, which is the Peruvian name for dulce de leche (of Argentinian fame), and meringue is also a big part of Suspiro Limeño. This meringue is made from egg whites and sprinkled with cinnamon, and the major blanco is made with milk and sugar then boiled until you get the thick and creamy caramel concoction on top, to which vanilla essence is then added.
Around my travels in Peru, especially in Lima and Cusco, I saw Suspiro Limeño in sale in smaller versions. Of course, restaurants can serve larger bowls, but even in small bakeries and confectioners, Suspiro Limeño was sold from takeaway glasses, through which you could see all the yummy layers!
In the UK, trifle appears to be similar to Suspiro Limeño, although only in appearance, not in taste. I find trifle to be much lighter and sweeter than Suspiro Limeño, and it seems Peruvians love their desserts to be somewhat darker!