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Kiveve is a creamy traditional dish of Paraguay that is made with pumpkin, onion, milk, sugar, corn flour, and fresh cheese that may be served as a main dish, a desert, or a side-dish to accompany meats

Kiveve is one of the most appetizing dishes of the popular semi-sweet Paraguayan gastronomy. It has a doughy texture and is of creamy consistency. Its taste is very pleasant and the primary ingredient is a pumpkin fruit that is called by the guarani name, "andai" in Paraguay. The same pumpkin ("cucurbita maxima"), is called "ahuyama" in Venezuela, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. It is a herbaceous annual plant, of long and climbing stems, that has as a fruit, a kind of squash that may grow in different shapes and forms. The fruit may be elongated or spherical, and its exterior color ranges from green to a deep orange or reddish. The pulp is a yellow-orange color, compact, of firm texture, and has a sweet flavor. Pumpkins may be baked at 400°F., which will get them very hot and delicious.

The "kiveve" dish is an important part of the ancestral culinary art of Paraguay and is highly valued. Because of the nature of its ingredients, the dish has a very high value in calories and proteins. According to some scholars of the social history of Paraguay, all of the currently popular Paraguayan gastronomic dishes were established by small family farmers after the Paraguayan War during which Paraguay fought the Triple Alliance (Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay) between 1864 and 1870. The foods are very high in caloric content because of a situation that overcame the country after the conflict. In the aftermath of the war, food was limited and groceries were difficult to find. So Paraguayan cooking contains a high caloric and protein content to make up for the loss of several meals during the day.

Ingredients and preparation[edit]

Traditional "kiveve" is made using the following ingredients: pumpkin or "andai", water, salt, oil, onion (chopped very small), milk, sugar, corn flour, and fresh cheese.

The pumpkin is peeled and boiled in water. The onions are browned in the oil. The cooked pumpkin is liquefied (now, in a blender machine) and the milk, sugar, and salt are added before corn flour, the last ingredient, is sifted over all of the others. Kiveve used to be cooked in clay pots. When it is all mixed, this preparation is taken to the fire and cooked, always stirring the mixture, for about 10 minutes or, until the corn flour is completely cooked. Finally chopped, fresh cheese is added and the dish is retrieved from the fire.[1]

This dish often is served to accompany beef, roast, "asados" (the Paraguayan version of the American barbecue), and such meals.[2] Also, it may be served alone, or even, as a dessert.[3] Most people who have tried both ways of cooking, assert that the taste of the dessert is the most delicious way to eat the pumpkins.

Origin of the name[edit]

The name "kiveve" comes from the Guaranitical term that designates a reddish color.[4] Because the "andai", the main ingredient of the dessert, has a deep orange color, it was given the name "kiveve" (reddish). In fact, in popular slang, the word, "kiveve", is used to identify redheaded people.

See also[edit]

  • “Karú rekó – Antropología culinaria paraguaya”, MARGARITA MIRÓ IBARS