Cinco De Mayo (May 5th) Mexican Candies

It’s Cinco de Mayo and even though this holiday is more celebrated in the US than it is in Mexico, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on taking advantage of the cultural gifts Mexico has to offer. In addition to your Beergaritas, I highly recommend starting a Mexican candy tradition.

These south-of-the-border candies are a far cry from your traditional American candies– and in all the best ways. This is especially true if you like things spicy and acidic. Tons of Mexican candies have a chile, salt, and lime mixture incorporated into them. The combination of sweet, salty, spicy, and acidic is amazing. It challenges almost all of the flavor regions of your tongue, unlike most candies in the US that are sweet, sweet, sweet. But even if that’s what you’re into, there are tons of Mexican candies for you, too!

There are a variety of ways that these irresistible candies can be consumed. You’ll find everything from suckers on a stick to little sweet buckets where the candy is dipped out with a spatula, and the candy is sometimes even squeezed out (see # 2 below). They come in powders, gels, gummies, hard candy, chewy leather, and so much more. Needless to say, Mexican candies are never boring!

You can find these little treats online or at your local Dulce Landia, which translates to Candy Land. Here in Chicago, they are all over the place. But if you’re like most of this country and you don’t have a Mexican candy store at your disposal, order from the internet or try scouring the “Mexican” aisle at a supermarket. Try Googling “Mexican candies” or search on Amazon as well. You’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for.

 Without further ado, I’d like to announce my top 5 favorite Mexican candies. Not only are these my favorite, but they are the most authentic of Mexican candies. Little boys and girls all over Mexico are rotting their teeth out with these very candies right now, trust me. So let’s get to it!


#5 – Mazapan



When you think mazapan, you probably think of a sweet almond paste molded into different shapes like fruits or disturbingly lifelike babies. Mexican mazapan is a little different. While it utilizes the same idea, a nut paste shaped and then eaten, Mexican marzipan uses peanuts instead of almonds.

These sweet little disks are powdery and absolutely delicious. They crumble quickly, even as you’re opening the fragile disk. Feel free to inhale the powder right out of the package. 

#4 – Vero Mango



This is a sucker (paleta as it is called in Mexico) shaped like a mango, that is covered in a salt, chile, and lime mixture. Inside the chile layer, you’ll find a succulently sweet mango flavored hard candy. There is an art to eating one of these suckers (har har). How many licks does it take to get to the bottom of a Vero Mango paleta? None. If you start out with this spicy candy by licking all of the chile and lime, unless you really like spicy acidic things, your taste buds are sure to fall off. Instead, bite into this sucker so that you get a perfect mix of chile, lime, and mango. You’ll be happy you did.

 #3 – Obleas con Cajeta 



Obleas are little white wafer cookies you’ll find made in Mexico and all over South America. They are crisp, delicate, and the perfect vehicle for a generous dose of cajeta. Cajeta is a Mexican caramel made from goat’s milk. And please, don’t let the goat part scare you off. These irresistible sandwich cookies don’t taste at all like they were made in a barn. The cajeta is sweet, rich, and creamy.

#2 – Pelon Pelo Rico


The two words you need to know from this candy’s name is pelo and rico. Pelo being hair and rico being delicious. Pelon has many meanings that I’ll let you check out on Urban Dictionary. This candy is just so irresistible Inside of the little pump you’ll find a sweetened mixture of tamarind paste that is also amped up with, you guessed it, chile, salt, and lime. Press on the two handy side wings and out comes that delicious hair!

#1 – Alegria Dulce


Now this is about as authentic as you can get. Alegria dulce translates to sweet happiness and it’s easy to see why. This candy features popped amaranth mixed with honey and pressed into squares. It is often topped with dried fruit and nuts as well. 

Amaranth is what gives this tasty, and even healthy, treat it’s authenticity. Amaranth is a grain that has been eaten throughout Mexico for thousands, yes thousands, of years. It is super tiny and ultra nutritious. If you rewinded several hundred years, you’d probably see children chowing down on this candy just the way they do today. The only difference is that they wouldn’t be rotting their teeth out because this candy is so packed with vitamins and minerals.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoy my Mexican candy picks. What are some of your favorite Mexican candies? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

 Which one is your favorite? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.

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Since I was a little girl, I've been all about food. As a 7 year old, my first half-baked attempt at chocolate cake was comprised of scrambled eggs and chocolate milk powder microwaved, then topped off with Red Hots. I've come a long way since then. I've been lucky enough to get to work in restaurants for 10 years and graduate from one of the best culinary schools in the country. At the moment I'm enjoying working with a killer food photographer while doing freelance food styling and writing. I'm always excited thinking about what my next culinary adventure will bring. Who knows, maybe I'll revisit that chocolate cake with Red Hots.
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