Mexican Snack Foods

Todd Coleman

The packaged snacks of Mexico are rooted in the spicy, sour, salty, and sweet flavors of the country's cuisine. Many of them are available in Mexican groceries in the U.S., or on mexgrocer.com.
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1.** Cacahuates Japoneses, or Japanese-style roasted peanuts, encased in a sweetened wheat flour crust seasoned with soy sauce, are often eaten drenched with hot sauce. Created in 1945 by Yoshigei Nakatani, a Japanese immigrant to Mexico City, they're a ubiquitous botana, or bar food.

2. **Tart tamarind candies come in many forms, including **Skwinklote, a chewy, chile- and pineapple-flavored candy with a tamarind center.

3. **Along with such contemporary snacks, there are traditional treats like **mazapanes de cacahuate, melt-in-the-mouth disks of toasted, sweetened peanut paste.

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4. Chicle, or chewing gum, from native rubber trees, dates back to pre-Columbian times; tropical flavors like banana are popular.

5. **Some sweets mimic savory foods, like **Salsagheti, watermelon-flavored, chile-coated "pasta" that comes with a packet of spicy tamarind sauce.

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6. ****Limon 7**, a salt and lemon powder poured straight into one's mouth or eaten with a spoon, is deliciously intense. A classic snack on the sweet side, cajeta, or caramelized goats' or cows' milk, appears in many forms.

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7.** **Obleas **sandwich a chewy version of the caramel between thin wheat wafers, also called obleas, which are themselves a popular street snack.
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8. Glorias, another caramel treat, are rolled with chopped pecans into logs.

9. **Chewy **Pulparindo fruit-leather bars, made from tamarind pulp, salt, chiles, and a bit of sugar, are more savory than sweet, particularly in the red-packaged picante style.

10. **The lollipops called **paletas de cajeta, made of hard cows'-milk caramel, melt into creamy richness in the mouth. Frituras, a genre that includes potato chips and other fried snacks, are often eaten at street stalls doused in lime juice, hot sauce, and salt.

11. **These packaged potato chips, called **Adobadas after the Spanish word for "marinated," come already flavored with acid, spice, and salt.

12. **The macaroon-like **Bandera de Coco, or "coconut flag," dressed in the national colors, is one of many coconut candies enjoyed in Mexico.
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13.** **Vero Mango **epitomizes the complex layering in Mexican confections: Within the salty chile paste coating is a sweet mango lollipop.

Javier Cabral is the author of the blog The Glutster