In Argentina, and wherever Argentineans gather, dulce de leche is eaten round the clock, with meals or as a snack. With its achingly sweet caramel flavor and a consistency something like smooth peanut butter, it is the quintessential Argentinean treat. It was originally developed for practical reasons: Cooks simmered sweetened milk until it caramelized to prevent spoilage. Spanish and Portuguese colonists are said to have brought the technique to the New World, where at first, in the absence of cattle, they used goat's milk, which is still preferred in some places. Other countries have their own versions of the specialty. It's called manjar blanco in Chile, arequipe in Colombia, cajeta de leche in Mexico, and doce de leite in Brazil—but Argentina has absorbed dulce de leche into its culinary soul.