Similar to other types of Mexican cuisine, Mexican candy comes in a variety of unique flavors and combinations, greatly impacted by the culture. Candies vary greatly in taste, preparation, aroma, and even symbolism. Although some Mexican candies, or “dulces”, can be traced back many years, a number of them are relatively new and have emerged thanks to the recent mixing of cultures. What is the origin of Mexican candy? And what types of flavors can you expect to find?
Unlike American candy, it is common for Mexican candy to combine the sweetness of sugar with the spiciness of chili powder. Candies also tend to contain salty ingredients that may seem more fitting to a meal than a sweet. Chewing gum, or “chicle”, is very popular in Mexico. Corn flavored and chili coated chewing gum are common. Mexican candied fruit is another popular treat that became available after the Spanish conquest. These treats have a hard, sugary exterior and a soft, fruit center. Tamarind and mango are the two most popular candy fruit flavors.
One of the most recognizable traditional Mexican candies is marzipan. Marzipan are round sweets made solely with ground peanuts and powdered sugar. They are commonly recognized by the rose printed on their packaging.
It was Mexico that first introduced the world to chocolate, but Mexican chocolate is different than the chocolate we are used to here in the United States. In Mexico, chocolate is prepared using a variety of different spices. Chocolate can be bought at local markets in the form of bars, discs, powders and syrups. Whereas most chocolate tends to be rich and creamy, Mexican chocolate can be grainy inside, with a smooth outer finish.
In Mexico, each holiday plays host to its own candy. Festive candies are popular Christmas gifts in Mexican culture. Not only does each holiday have its own candy, but each region also has unique offerings. Many Mexican candies are handmade; some still being made the traditional way, in large copper and clay pots. Commercial candies are easy to find in supermarkets, but many traditional candies are harder to find. It is mainly the traditional candies that are used at family gatherings, weddings, baptisms, Christmas celebrations, and Day of the Dead alter offerings.
Like authentic Mexican cuisine, Mexican candy offers a variety of distinctive flavors and colors. Mexican food is heavily impacted by the history and culture of the country: and the candies are no different. Try a taste of Mexico today and stop by one of our five Mexicali Fresh Mex Grill locations in Spencer, Holden, and Ware MA, or Dayville, and Stonington CT. We look forward to seeing you!