|Place of origin||Spain|
|Main ingredients||milk and eggs|
Natillas (Spanish pronunciation: [naˈtiʎas]) is a term used to refer different delicacies in the Spanish-speaking world. In Spain, this term refers to a custard dish made with milk and eggs, similar to other european creams as crème anglaise. In Colombia, it does not include eggs and is called natilla instead of "natillas".
In Spain, natillas are a custard dish typically made with milk, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and cinnamon. The dish is prepared by gently boiling the milk and slowly stirring in the eggs (often just the yolks) and other ingredients to create a sweet custard. The differences between spanish natillas, english custard or french crème anglaise are vague, mainly related to their thickness.
This custard (though is a pouring thin cream and not a coagulated custard) is also similar to flan but is typically richer, makes generous use of cinnamon flavoring, and does not use caramel as flan normally does.
In Colombia, natilla is the most popular Christmas dish and is eaten along with buñuelos and "manjar blanco", and it resembles a flan or pudding. Some of the ingredients include milk, "panela" (blocks of brown sugar), cinnamon sticks, and flour or cornstarch. Traditionally people like to add grated coconut but it's an optional ingredient. To garnish it, powdered cinammon is spread on top of the finished natilla. Natilla is found all throughout the Christmas season and usually stores sell pre-made natilla; but one of the best known Christmas traditions in Colombia is making natilla in an improvised campfire in the streets or home patios.
This term is used in Peru, especially the city of Piura, to refer to dulce de leche, a spread made of milk and sugar that is boiled until it is thick and the sugar has caramelized to a rich brown color. The Peruvian confection manjar blanco is arguably more similar to Spanish natillas except that it is somewhat thicker and has no eggs (and manjar blanco in Spain refers to yet another dish).
México and New Mexico
In Costa Rica, the term is used for a sour cream-like dairy product used as a condiment with a variety of dishes. The product is homogenized and pasteurized milk with a lower fat content (about 12%) than normal sour cream, some brands add salt to the cream.
Natillas is a diminutive of nata ('cream' in english), that is, crema de leche (milk cream), an refers obviously to the thickness of the dish, similar to that of cream.
- Publiboda Espana: Natillas
- BellaOnline: Spanish Culture Site: Natillas
- Recetas mexicanas, Universidad de Guadalajara.
- Desserts of New Mexico
- astray recipes: Atole de leche (milk with masa drink)