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Mariana Velásquez's Merengón de Fresa y Crema de Diente de León

Makes 10 to 12 servings

A large white banner with red, bold capital letters reading Merengón De Fresa stretches between makeshift flimsy poles on the sides of the roads along the Bogotá savanna. About two hundred feet past the sign, a boxy Renault 12—a French-made car brought to our country and popular in the 1970s—sits with its parking lights on and its trunk propped open, displaying trays of crunchy meringue topped with whipped cream and strawberries. The merengónis sold by families who empirically prepare this dessert at home during the week and venture to country roads on the weekend to sell to passersby. It’s a less refined pavlova, with all its decadence. In this version, I take all the richness of a Renault 12 merengón, and add a dash of dandelion bitters into the cream to bring to mind the yellow flowers that blanket the fields of the area and give zest to the taste.