Where Does Arroz Con Leche Come From?

Two bowls of arroz con leche on table top.
Two bowls of arroz con leche on table top. (Image: Antonio Mu±oz palomares/Hemera/Getty Images)

Arroz con leche -- literally, "rice with milk" -- is a sweet rice pudding found throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish colonists brought this dish to the New World, but it in turn probably originally came to Spain during the Muslim conquest of the early Middle Ages. Recipes for arroz con leche include a variety of different flavorings.

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Basic Ingredients

The simplest form of arroz con leche involves boiling medium-grain white rice and sugar in milk. The chefs at Brindisa Tapas Kitchens recommend using whole milk, reports "The Telegraph," while cooks in Latin America tend to favor sweetened condensed milk. Vanilla is another common ingredient.

Other Flavorings

Cinnamon is the traditional flavoring for arroz con leche and is used both as an ingredient and a topping. Grated coconut often adorns arroz con leche in Colombia, while Peruvian cooks frequently add cloves. Some also add egg yolks to create a heartier dish called arroz emperatriz.


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