Today we are going to show you the behind-the-scenes of a small family business in Jericó.
Their secret ingredient?
This plant, native to India, is used to create a spice of the same name. Its intense taste, with a hint of mintiness, leaves no one indifferent.
Either you like it. Or you hate it.
The story of jericó’s cardamom
About ten years ago, many producers were growing cardamom in Jericó. This plant, preferring the shade to the sun, was perfectly suited to the zone’s climate.
The farmers sold their harvest (5 to 6 times a year) to a single company, which then imported it worldwide.
Unfortunately, due to poor business management, the company closed. Sales stopped. No one wanted to hear about cardamom anymore.
Everyone, except a family from Jericó.
Evelio comes from a large family. He has 17 brothers and sisters. Enough to start a soccer team, with substitutes and a coach.
He lives with his wife and two daughters in Medellín. He is tired of city life. He wishes to return to his native village, hidden between the mountains and the clouds.
In 2011, he took the plunge. He buys a small company in Jericó that produces cardamom candies.
The adventure of Dulces El Jericoano begins.
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Dulces El Jericoano: behind-the-scenes
*Fast forward button. A 10-year time jump.*
I find myself in front of the store, located in a street perpendicular to the main square. In my mouth, it melts a delicious candied cardamom treat.
Juliana, one of Don Evelio’s two daughters, invites me to go behind the counter to watch the preparation of these colorful sweets.
As soon as I enter behind the thick plastic curtain, a sweet and unusual smell tickles my nostrils.
Here, the staff does everything by hand.
First, you have to prepare your confit base. Sugar, fruit flavoring, and cardamom are added to a hot pot.
You need to stay nearby because you have to stop the process as soon as the temperature reaches X (secret) degrees. Above that, the sugar burns. Below that, the melting does not happen.
Then, you place the paste in a cold water bath to solidify it and make it malleable.
With her expert hands, Claudia stretches the emerald green dough into a thread a few centimeters wide.
It is now time to cut.
“toc, toc, toc”
The scissors’ sound resonates in the laboratory. Claudio uses his thumb as a yardstick.
In 5 minutes, candies cover the table like precious stones. I see a few cardamom seeds imprisoned for eternity in each of them — until a starving mouth eats them.
Afterward, Claudia sends the finished product for packaging — also by hand.
The storefronts of Dulces El Jericoano contain other tasty surprises.
Among the displays, you’ll find La Colombina. It is a candied cardamom lollipop.
Next to the entrance, there are coffee bags on the shelves, with a picture of an older man, with his cowboy hat, horse, and dog.
This man with sparkling eyes was the patriarch of the Moncho’s family. By the way, it’s the brand name of their coffee.
And guess what their coffee is mixed with?
I just bought a bag to try. There is a good balance between the different flavors. It’s a pleasant surprise to take home 😉
So now, what about you?
Do you know the particular flavor of cardamom?
In any case, the Moncho’s family invites you with a smile to discover their small shop and to taste their colorful sweets during your passage by Jericó.
Information about Dulces el Jericoano
- Address: Right here
- Website: Dulces el Jericoano
- Instagram: @Dulceseljericuano
- Prices in 2021:
- 25 cardamom candies: 2,000 COP
- 100 cardamom candies: 6,000 COP
- Cardamom seeds: 2,500 COP
- 500g Moncho’s coffee: 22 000 COP
Where to travel after Jericó
The 8 best experiences you shouldn’t miss
Visit Caño Cristales (the most beautiful river worldwide)
Explore San José del Guaviare (an off-the-beaten-path destination)