There are few things that make me giddy, Mexican Candy being one of them. I believe what sends me into the giggles is the sugar rush anticipation and the explosion of flavors I’m about to experience.
‘Fruta Cristalizada’ the Spanish name for Mexican crystallized fruit. Many of the fruits hold their original shape after they are candied into a hard sugary outer exterior while maintaining a soft fruit center.
Here’s a little background of where my love for Mexican Candy comes from. When I was a chiquita there was a Mexican candy shop right down the street from where I lived. I would venture over there a few times a week, and spend my allowance money on a piece or two. The shop was not open to the public, but the woman that ran the shop could see the curiosity in my eyes. She knew I was completely intrigued by her candy making and would allow me to sit in and watch her work. I was officially a Mexican candy devotee. To this day it is still one of my favorite types of confections, and one people should definitely try.
Calabaza – Pumpkin Candy: What I love best about this pumpkin candy is as you bite into the calabaza it becomes stringy and bursts with pumpkin flavor. YUM!
Bar of Acitrón: Is made of a globose cactus plant known as Dulce de Biznaga. The pith is boiled with sugar to produce this delectable sweet treat. Slices of acitrón are also used as one of the decorative strips on the seasonal rosca de reyes.
Camote Rojo: The red sweet potato candy has slight hints of honey to the aftertaste. I could nibble on it all day. If you’re a fan of sweet potato, then this is a must try.
Chilacayote – Candied Squash: Known for it’s white flesh and black seeds taste fantastic candied and could be paired with a nice dry white wine.
Ate de Guava: This delicious guayaba jam is also known as ate de guava and pairs extremely well with manchego cheese or any cheese for that matter. Cut a slice off and add it to your next quesadilla.
Cocada – Milk Coconut Candy: Hands down one of the most celebrated Mexican candies. This simple coconut bar holds the hearts of many.
Cacahuates Garapinados – Mexican Toffee Peanuts: Unlike the American toffee peanuts that hold a dry exterior, the Mexican toffee peanuts are more on the sticky side. I do not consider this a bad trait, it just means they clump together for a merrier bite. Plus, who could resist their bright red coat?
Higos- Candied Figs: I enjoy eating candied figs all on their own, but they also go great chopped up in a coffee cake or as a salad topper.
Obleas: Two paper thin wafers sandwich a glob of cajeta (goat’s milk caramel).
Tamarindo with Sugar or Chamoy: The fruity sour flavor of tamarind works so well with tart chamoy. If chamoy is not your thing you can always opt for a sugar coating instead!
Limones Rellenos de Coco – Coconut Stuffed Limes: Whoever created this concoction should be hailed as genius. A key lime peel is candied then stuffed with sticky sweet coconut. The combination brings an exotic flavor explosion to the tongue. Limones rellenos de coco were Frida Kahlo’s favorite treat and a staple of Casa Azul. She’s no fool.
Mazapan: Made of peanuts and sugar, this crumbly candy will melt in your mouth unlike any other smooth candy. A Mexican candy keeper for sure.