Bold colors, but what’s inside is what matters- Mexican Candy

14 07 2009

Latin American kids are lucky (that was us) in that they have a large assortment range of goodies to choose from. Following we  focus on Mexican candy, delicious but also foreign from other parts of Latin America.  Sweet, bold, creamy, finger licking, orgasmic, silky, crunchy, heavenly, delightful, are just a few of the many ways to describe Mexican candy.  For us die hard fans it is simply the Big “O”…

DULCE DE LECHE – a much-loved Mexican treat. Meaning “milk candy,” dulce de leche is like caramel in taste and appearance. It can be eaten alone or as a topping for dishes such as Mexican ice cream or grilled bananas (my favorites).  How do you make it?  Boil sweetened condensed milk for several hours.  Once you’ve made it, you can use it in dulce de leche flan, dulce de leche cheesecake or in a dulce de leche sauce recipe.  But keeping the traditional approach here, Borrachitos need to be on your “must try before I die” list.  The name Borrachito means “little drunk”, and in Latin America we will try to get away with anything where we can sneak in a little alcohol. These little fingers of dulce de leche (they call them nuggets) are up to 4% alcohol so beware.

Borrachitos- a must for your bucket list.

Borrachitos- a must for your bucket list.

You'll need to show some ID

You'll need to show some ID

MAZAPANdulce de cacahuate or peanut confection. I’ve seen these little disks of mazapan all over Mexico, and a favorite of my wife.  The ingredients are pretty simple and two thirds wholesome: peanuts and sugar and artificial flavors.  Now, the very first time I tried one of these little guys it was nothing like I expected.  The little creatures are very crumbly. When I opened my package,  it cracked into several large pieces easily. One thing I absolutely love about Mazapan is that it smells wonderful, like peanut butter cookie dough.  The taste is smooth and cool on the tongue, dissolving like peanut butter flavored icing.  It’s sweet and these little guys can be found with Dulce de Leche filling- just imagine!

Get ready for the unexpected....

Get ready for the unexpected....

OBLEAS DE CAJETA– My all time favorite, I know I may have already used the word “favorite” in this post but can you blame me.  This little treat from Mexico really shows how diverse candy can be and still be so very interesting. What you get here is caramel sandwiched between something that resembles a communion wafer, seriously.  You might be asking, what’s the deal with the goat on the package. Well from what I understand the caramel in this treat is made from goat’s milk. This is a very special caramel, I’ve never had caramel like this in my life and add to that the fact that its goat’s milk caramel, now we all have something to talk about. I’ve only seen seen Obleas in the US at specialty markets, and authentic mexican restaurants.  You need to try because with a really smooth, milky caramel and the subtle texture of the wafer you’ll be hard to only eat one.

The heavenly sandwich

The heavenly sandwich

small. medium, and large- what say you?

small. medium, and large- what say you?

Seriously good

Seriously good

COCADARollito de Coco (Coconut Candy Roll) is how it is normally sold. This is a cigar-shaped candy made specifically from the coconut.  Each piece is a white roll with a brown strip, resembling toasted & burnt coconut shavings. It is very sticky, but the aroma is rich with coconut, if you are familiar with the macaroon.  then you’ll know what I am talking about.  They’re incredibly soft and easy to bite into with the interior being moist, as if this were fresh coconut you were eating. Yum !

The flavor is milky and you can pick up a tad of butter in there. This is a very refined candy in its sweetness, similar to how Mexican pastries and sweet breads have hints of sugar instead of over doing it.  Coconut rolls are a sweet staple of Mexican candy, you can find them in a dizzying array of shapes and colors.  We recommend that you try them all because they’re quite tasty treats.  We’re certain you won’t have any problems with that recommendation.

rollito de coco (coconut roll)

Cocada

Cocada

This is a just a short list of the most popular Mexican sweets, next time you find yourself in Mexico; take some time to look out for these delicacies. We’d love to hear some of your favorites and experiences, list them below.

Making Dulce de leche: