with him. The handmade sweets she made so impressed her friends that last year Zubía launched a company, Maitelates Chocolates, to turn out the exquisite and delicious artisanal treats known as alfajores.
Food has always been a big part of Zubía’s life, she explains via email. “All the big important family celebrations have been around lots and lots of good food,” she writes. One of her favorite memories is of visiting her grandmother’s home in the Chilean countryside and making dulce de leche. The family would gather outside around a big copper pot over a wood fire. They filled the pot with fresh milk from their creamery, added sugar, and stirred. “In order to get a smooth and nice syrup, you have to be stirring all the time,” she says, so a long-handled wooden spoon would be passed from one to another of the dozen or so grandchildren standing around the pot for each to take a turn at the task, as the milk concentrated and turned a golden brown. At the end, the kids got the big prize—scraping the sides of the bowl for the best part of the dulce de leche.