A beginner’s guide to Mexican candy
A beginner’s guide to the salty, sweet, sour, spicy world of Mexican candy
AdvertisementOUR FAVORITESDe La Rosa MazapánThe story of De La Rosa and its famous peanut marzipan begins with Jesús Michel González and Elvira Velasco Rolón opening a small candy business from their home in Guadalajara in 1942. The logo on its wrapper was originally three strawberries. González changed it to a rose after a competitor with a similar logo
threatened to sue.It was a good choice — Guadalajara is nicknamed the city of roses, after all. And the De La Rosa group now employs thousands — people around the world crave the sweet, nutty taste and slightly chalky texture of De La Rosa mazapán.
One of the eating methods, as explained by Times columnist Arellano, is to pop the entire puck into your mouth and push a little bit up between the teeth and upper lip. Then you sit back and enjoy, like a centerfielder with a plug of chewing tobacco, while the macerated peanut goodness slowly dissolves. This was the overwhelming favorite of the candy we tried. headtopics.com
PulparindoBlessed are the tamarind trees, and their pods full of tangy pulp. De La Rosa, lest they be considered a mere one-trick pony, has another excellent product in Pulparindo, essentially a grainy, tamarind-flavored fruit leather. That tamarind base flavor can then have an
additionalfruit flavor layered onto it — like watermelon or mango. The result is sweet, salty, fruity and incredibly craveable.This candy (among others) is evocative of li hing mui, a powerfully salty-sweet dried Chinese plum that can provoke involuntary wincing in the uninitiated. Li hing powder is especially popular in Hawaii, where it’s consumed on things like candy and shave ice and in alcoholic drinks.
AdvertisementPulparindo has that same perfect balance of sweet, savory and fruitiness — a very solid candy.DuvalínDuvalín is advertised as “artificially flavored candy,” but a more apt description might be “package of frosting.” A favorite of Times staff writer Mejia, Duvalín comes in a few flavors, typically some combination of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. It also comes with a very tiny spoon that you can use to eat the frosting.
That’s about all there is to say about Duvalín — it’s literally just frosting. Totally decent, cupcake-quality frosting. Could it be improved by the inclusion of, say, tiny cookie sticks? Undoubtedly.AdvertisementLucas Muecas (Chamoy)I didn’t like this initially but, upon retrying, it turned out to be one of my favorites, despite the similarity of the name to “Lucas Mucas,” a moniker I was tortured with in grade school. headtopics.com
There are layers to Lucas Muecas: First, there’s the chamoy-flavored lollipop, which sits in what looks like a small film canister (remember those?) that’s filled with salty-sweet chile powder. Together, they complement each other nicely.Finally, the lollipop is attached to a closed loop of plastic, meaning, that’s right, you can wear it on your finger as a ring. Is there anything better? Just be careful when opening the package not to spill the powder all over you (as I did in the video).
AdvertisementPelon Pelo RicoRemember Chia Pets? Put the seed paste on a little sheep, or a guy’s face, then watch the hair grow? There’s a lot of “hair-growing” in the Mexican candy diaspora, and I can’t say I’m mad at it. The Pelon Pelo Rico (roughly, “tasty bald hair”) gets its name from the push-pop-like action of extruding goopy tamarind through a bunch of tiny holes so that it looks like strands of hair.
It’s pretty fun to do, and it’s tasty too, a favorite of staff videographer Long. It’s basically a gritty tamarind-flavored paste. Extremely gritty. If it were any more gritty, it’d be moonlighting as a hockey mascot. If you can get over that, you’ll enjoy the sweet-sour tamarind flavor that infuses so many Mexican candies.
THE BEST OF THE RESTAdvertisementRicolino BocadínThis entry from Grupo Bimbo (you may know their baked goods) is essentially a better version of a Kit Kat. Why better, you ask? It’s layers of thin, chocolate-coated wafers, but what gives Bocadín an extra little boost is the addition of peanut butter. headtopics.com
Peanut butter and chocolate are as foolproof a combo as— is it a little predictable? Sure, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop eating it.Lucas SkwinklesAdvertisementThere are a few versions of Skwinkles (from the Spanish word “escuincle,” something you might call a misbehaving child), but the one we tried, a long sugar-coated tamarind tube with pineapple filling, was particularly good.
It’s another entry from Lucas, the powerhouse candy brand now owned by Mars. The mascot is anin-your-face, sunglasses-wearing cartoon duck who seems to be encouraging you to cut fifth-period science, do a kickflip on your skateboard and chow down on some candy. Preferably all at the same time.
The Skwinkle is like the best possible version of a gummy worm — it’s not as chewy, but it makes up for that in fruity tanginess.Moreliates CuadritosAdvertisementMoreliates, a Michoacan-based company, makes this very good candy from pieces of tejocote, or Mexican hawthorn. The tiny cubes taste slightly of apple and are a delight to eat, but more important, they kicked off an interesting discussion among the group: What is candy?
Most of the time, it’s one of those Potter Stewart, know-it-when-I-see-it issues: Cupcakes? While sweet, obviously not candy. Butterscotch? Clearly candy. With the Cuadritos, there was a question if something that was essentially fruit could still be considered candy.
I say yes — if something is covered in sugar or mostly sugar, and can be broken or shared in pieces, it’s candy. But I’m willing to listen to counterarguments: Where does fruit end and candy begin?Montes Tomy Butterscotch CandyAdvertisementA delightful candy. These small, individually wrapped candies are reasonably milky and creamy with a vaguely fruity undertone. I can imagine picking up a handful of these at grandma’s house.
Obleas con CajetaOne thing that was said during the tasting was that I bought the wrong brand of these — Cabadas, instead of Las Sevillanas or Aldama. I take responsibility and blame the error on my sugar-induced haze. (For the record, I tried a Las Sevillanas oblea later and it was roughly the same.)
This popular confection, goat milk caramel candy sandwiched between two thin wafers, is pretty good no matter the brand, though. The wafers could have been crispier, but the vaguely stale chew of them made the connection with communion wafers even that much more pronounced.
AdvertisementCarlos VHow many Holy Roman Emperors can say they have their own chocolate bar? Chocolate was enjoyed for thousands of years by Mesoamerican civilizations before Carlos V, or Charles V, ever tried it. But it may have been due to a suggestion from Hernán Cortés himself in the 16th century that Carlos V
popularized chocolateas a sweet treat, as opposed to a drink.I wasn’t there, so I can’t be sure. I will say, though, that the Carlos V bar (made by Nestlé) is a very acceptable chocolate bar. It won’t knock your socks off, but give the poor guy a break — he was busy waging war all over the globe.
Canel’s Chewing GumAdvertisementCanel’s, a venerable Mexican candy company that started in 1925, makes many different products, including La Vaquita lollipops and tiny, cute packages of chewing gum. Each package of Chiclets-like gum (the name Chiclets, as you might guess, comes from the Spanish word for gum, “chicle”) comes in a variety of flavors: apple, grape, banana, etc.
Like all good gum, it loses its flavor in approximately 14 seconds. That’s why there are four pieces per package.BorrachinesBorrachines (from the word borracho, or “drunk”) are deceptive little candies that would seem, from the rainbow of colors they come in, to be fruit-flavored. They are not. They’re sweet milk candies that come in different boozy (or booze-friendly) flavors like rum butter, tequila, whiskey and eggnog.
AdvertisementThe packaging suggests “disfrútalos fríos” — try them cold — and that’s a decent idea. It firms the candies up a bit; otherwise, they liquefy in your mouth pretty much instantly. The flavor? Like a PG-13 dulce de leche. The eggnog actually tastes like eggnog. The tequila… well, the tequila won’t fool anybody.
Don Chuy Cuchara de TamarindoSometimes you just want a big spoonful of tamarind pulp. And that is exactly what this is, no more and no less. I like this if only because it’s exactly what is advertised: quite literally a white plastic spoon and some tamarind pulp. It’s got seeds and everything. And hey, when you’re done, you get a free spoon out of it!
Mayito’s Mango Perico/Eloton EnchiladoAdvertisementI appreciate the honesty on the packaging of the Eloton Enchilado, which states “Exceso Calorías,” “Exceso Azúcares” and “Exceso Sodio” at the top (“Excess calories, excess sugars, excess sodium”).
It’s not an inaccurate way to describe the chile-covered lollipop that is shaped adorably like a corncob and, to a lesser degree, the lolly shaped like a mango. The corncob, in particular, is caked in searingly mouth-puckering chile, but that makes it more pleasurable when you break through to the fruity sweetness on the inside (it’s not corn-flavored, as you might think).
Lucas SalsaghetiThis is one of the most interesting candies I’ve ever tried — thin strips of mango gummy “spaghetti” and a separate sachet of tamarind sauce that you pour over the strips. It sounds good in theory, and it’s certainly fun to put together, but in practice, it doesn’t quite work.
AdvertisementThe parts don’t mesh. The strips are a bit too plasticky tasting and the very sour sauce, meant to counterbalance the sugar, tastes a little gloppy. While very interactive, there are better-tasting Lucas candies.Gloria Pecan Milk CandyThe La Zagala brand we tried in the video is essentially a roll of nut-studded caramel, wrapped to look like a small sausage or roll of Pillsbury cookies. The taste is decent — pretty sandy, but with lots of good pecan flavor. Las Sevillanas makes a two-bite goat milk Gloria candy that is superior to this: richer and creamier.
La Vaquita Milk Caramel LollipopAdvertisement Read more: Los Angeles Times »
GustavoArellano brittny_mejia Lucas Kwan Peterson, Cody Long - the article and video got me to order a Mexican candy variety pack on Etsy bc I live on the other coast. good luck The Duvalins taste like pure frosting 🤣 wow And dye. Yummy 😋 this is terrible news Let me know when you need the expert’s guide.
I like the cocada (coconut.) all these treats remind me of simpler times 😊 I help retrieve your hacked, disabled or locked accounts and also get them secured🔐 🔋WhatsApp⚡ 🔋 Facebook⚡ 🔋Instagram⚡ 🔋Twitter ⚡ 🔋Snapchat ⚡ 🔋Tiktok ⚡ 🔋Emails ⚡ 🔋Onlyfans ⚡ 🔋Phone Tracking ⚡ 🔋Netflix ⚡️ 🔋Sportify ⚡️ 🔋Any other account... ⚡️⚡️ Kindly DM
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morgfair I love pumpkin Mexican candy. So sweet and delicious. So yummy. morgfair Duvalin sucks. It's just glorified pudding. Fight me. This made my mouth water! Mazapan & pulpitas are my favorite! I discovered Mexican candy when I first moved to California and went into truck stops in convenience stores. My life suddenly got better.
lucaspeterson GustavoArellano food Is there a Mexican candy made from loquats? 🧐 I appreciated this section in my Sunday paper edition. I have not tried several of the items listed, so Lucas Peterson’s taste buds have done the work for me, weeding out the weak links. where’s the bubulubu 🥺👻 I prefer American candy
No shade but honestly think you could’ve gotten a more original perspective from one of the millions of Mexicans in Los Angeles who grew up eating Mexican candy.
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The author is called Lucas! 😂 I invite you to Islam. Become a Muslim. Let your people be Muslims. Read and understand the Quran. The only religion in the sight of Allah is the valid religion, and the last religion is Islam. Eşhedü en la ilahe illallah wa ashhedu anne Muhammeden abduhu ve resulhu
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