The popular Uruguayan dessert, Martíín Fierro, takes its name from the famous hero of Argentine writer Joséé Hernandez's epic poem. The poem is regarded as a masterpiece of the gauchesque genre and a symbol of Argentine (and Uruguayan) identity. Hernáández's past as politician, poet and writer is explored in relation to his work, in particular, the epic poem, Martíín Fierro and The Return of Martíín Fierro. The Martíín Fierro dessert evolved from Hernandez's preference for a popular Argentinean dessert of cheese and sweet potato called "Vigilante" to the Uruguayan version of cheese with quince paste, and was thus named in his honor. The influence of the Spanish and Swiss in the history of the dessert's main ingredients, Colonia cheese and quince paste, highlights the adaptation of the Uruguayan cuisine to European traditions, and the adoption of the gaucho literary hero as their own underscores Uruguayan identity with the (Southern cone) region.

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