- Since the 16th century Mexico has had a unique variety of sweets.
- Mexican sweets stand out for their color, flavor, and intense aromas, distinctive features of Mexican cuisine.
As some legends have it sweets were prepared by nuns in colonial convents as a means of expressing the feelings they held deep in their hearts. These delights started out as experiments. Ingredients such as sugar, milk, eggs, and dried fruit arrived with the conquistadors . . . and were blended with endemic products including squash, mamey, vanilla, amaranth, and cacao.
From north to south, from peninsula to peninsula, sweets are ever-present at Mexican fairs and fiestas. They are an excellent gift because they are both elegant and delicious. Sweets are a living example of the nation’s traditions.
- Mexico’s oldest sweet is known as alegría: toasted amaranth combined with honey, piloncillo (solid brown cone sugar), or sugar. It was originally prepared with agave syrup.
- Puebla, Michoacán, the State of Mexico, and Nuevo León boast delectable traditional sweets.
- The most famous are alegrías, cocadas (chewy coconut candies), glorias (milk and pecan candy), candied fruit, jamoncillos (milk and nut candies), mazapanes (peanut or almond marzipan), muéganos (crunchy brown cone sugar flavored dough), palanquetas (nut brittle), ates (fruit pastes), and obleas (wafers with caramel).
- Sugar skulls are the most traditional sweet for the Day of the Dead season.