I opened the box for my birthday and it glistened. Glossy wrappers, bright colors and quirky animated characters of unfamiliar brands shined like a great big edible rainbow. It was filled with novelty Mexican candies. Clearly, this was love in a box.
If you know me, you may know of my love for unusual candy. When peeking into the depths of the confectionary world, you discover unexpected flavors, unique and sometimes upsetting textures, and like all food, you can explore cultures through gastronomic adventuring….in some cases spelunking.
I sorted through my new treasure, strategically planning my method of attack. Shall I start with the more familiar, like with the Ibarra Mexican chocolate, which simply appeared to be small chocolate disks? Or, shall I try the Palerindas, a tamarind-flavored, brownish-red, course-textured glob on a stick? Instead, I opened a squishy tube labeled “Candy Roll Tamarind.” As I awkwardly unwrapped the paste, I squeezed and then sampled a bit of mush between my lips. Peculiar. I held it in my mouth for a bit. Pleasantly acidic. Not bad…although, I couldn’t help think that I should spread it on a cracker, rather than be ingesting straight from a tube.
Candy provides a wonderful curiosity factor that goes beyond tasting. Somewhere, Candy Roll Tamarind are produced in bulk. This is fascinating (at least in my mind) because IF they are being produced in bulk (even in modest quantity) there are people consuming Candy Roll Tamarind regularly. Somewhere, this paste in a tube is being eaten completely un-ironically. What a fantastic thought! With this fact, we gain the tiniest glimpse into one aspect of cultural preferences and societal norms of people all around the world.
While I’m nibbling on pink and white Good & Plenty tablets (objectively, no less bizarre than any candy found in my birthday box), what are others chewing on (or slurping, or spooning, or licking)? Just take a look in my box!
Some of findings…
- The Duvalin: A tasty vanilla and hazelnut cream that comes in, what reminds me of, a small jam/jelly packet, which one could find on the table at IHOP. Again, something I feel should be spread as a condiment, rather than consumed directly…maybe I’m eating them wrong. I do enjoy the little person on the lid of the Duvalin. He’s a super trendy cartoon boy sporting a backwards cap and a “D” on his shirt.
- Palerindas: This tamarind-shaped glob on a stick tasted like a tangy glob on a stick. I realize that tamarind by nature is acidic, but my body rejected this pop as poison.
- The Peanuts Patty: Brittle is clearly a universal goodness.
- Super Mango Loco: I was terrified to try this after the Palerindas. This mango shaped lolli began with a hint of sweet and sour mango flavor, which quickly transformed into a spicy Minotaur in my mouth. Yes, a Minotaur. Conceivably, the wrapper with the terrified looking mango-man being engulfed by flames was intended to warn me.
- Mampostial Black Coconut: This came in a thick fruit leather-like form. The more I ate this, the more it grew on me. Basically, it tasted like shredded coconut that someone had burnt a little. Maybe that’s why it’s black.
- Jelly: Yes, that’s all it was called. This token Asian candy thrown into the mix was a little pineapple-flavored cup of gel. Somehow more gelatinous, or gummy, than jell-o, I satisfying slurped down with one inhalation.
- Imbarra, Genuine Mexican Chocolate: These little disks of joy were chalk-full of what seemed to be cinnamon and sugar, giving the chocolate a distinct granular texture. Different, sugary and delish.
- Next, I will carry on my box explorations and delve into candies labeled containing chili powder….