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Candy Review: Trio of Mexican Treats

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Foreign (non-US) Candy,Gummi/Gummy Candy,Soft Candy

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Pulparindo
One of the advantages to being the only Candy Addict writer outside of North America is that people send me cool stuff to try – stuff which I would never find here in Australia. In this case an Arizona-based Candy Addict sent me a bunch of weird and wonderful Mexican candy to taste test. Having grown up in Southern California, I’m no stranger to the common flavors of Mexico – tamarind, chili, mango and so on – but this is my first experience with those flavors from a confectionery perspective.

Made by de la Rosa, Pulparindo is described as a “hot and salted tamarind pulp candy” and, to my palette, it was only mildly hot and not really salty. It’s basically a pressed rectangle of tamarind, mixed with some sugar and chili. The first listed ingredient is sugar, which is pretty obvious from a textural point of view. It’s a pretty sandy thing to eat – you can hear it grinding against your teeth as you chew. Flavor-wise it’s pretty nice – but you would definitely need to be a tamarind fan in the first place! Appearance wise it’s not all that appealing, but if you’ve eaten raw tamarind before then you’re no stranger to brown patties!

Salsagheti

Made by the Lucas company, Salsagheti looked like a pretty promising candy – essentially long strings of hot candy coated with a tamarind sauce, although again these looked a bit sandy. This candy also comes with a squeeze packet of “gusano” – which my high-school Spanish translates as a worm but seems to be some sort of hot sauce. The first whiff I get of the Mango flavor is really nice – a tropical, fresh mango smell and very sweet. The strings themselves are a bit plastic-y, but the flavor is reasonable. I had no intention of opening the scary looking packet, but then I figured I owed it to the Candy Addict readers to at least smell the stuff.

I’m not sure if you’re meant to dip the strings in there, or what – but the whole thing is entirely messy and horrible. I opened the sachet and had a sniff; it seemed okay. I tasted it and then pretty much wanted to hurl. It’s this thin, brown liquid which is equal parts super sweet and spicy. In a word – mucho disgusting! I have no idea how you would eat this stuff without it running down your hands and getting everywhere. Would you cut the top off the squeeze packet and dip in the strings? Eat the strings and then suck down the packet? (If anyone out there knows, would you please enlighten me?)

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I opened up the Watermelon flavored Salsagheti. Strangely the smell was exactly the same as for the mango – there was no watermelon flavor at all. The taste was only vaguely watermelon, really more like a benign “red” flavor of no specific fruit origin. The only difference here was that the tamarind flavor of the sandy coating was more apparent. There was no earthly way I was going to try that gusano stuff again as it was basically the same as the other one… and I’d learned my lesson the first time.

None of the candies I tried were all that great, but I really enjoyed the experience of tasting things I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Not unlike trying a new restaurant, getting the chance to try out candies from other parts of the world is a real culinary treat for me. This is especially true when presented with flavors I’ve tasted in other, non-sweet ways – like the tamarind and chili. Some flavors, for me anyway, don’t transfer well from savory to sweet – but then I suppose it’s a cultural point of difference as well.

No matter where you’re from, I think we can agree on one thing: Adoramos dulces! We love candy!

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4 Responses to “Candy Review: Trio of Mexican Treats”

  1. 1
    Julie says:

    Being the sender of the goods, as it were, it’s interesting to see your review, Michelle! I happen to love tamarind and am kind of a Pulparindo addict (they also make a hard candy in three flavors filled with the tamarind paste, which is much more palatable to the newbie to Mexican candy, as well as making a “hot” version of Pulparindo).

    The Salsaghetti stuff? Ugh. But I sent it to you ’cause hey, you’re an Aussie and can’t get it and you might’ve liked it, who knows? They sell so much of it here that somebody likes it! That gusano sauce is really nasty, though, I agree. One taste and I tossed the stuff and just ate the strings. Eh. I’d rather have something else!

    Oh, and for your info, kids around here usually eat it by grabbing a strand, folding it in half and dipping it in the sauce that they’ve squeezed out into the plastic tray in a corner. I’ve seen some kids pour the sauce on the strands and just get messy as heck! I sent some to a friend’s son who used to live here and loves Mexican candy (he’s now in Seattle, so missed it), and for a kid who’d eat anything, even he didn’t like it! He loves that Pulparindo, too, though! There’s a lot more Mexican candy out there, and some really sweet, coconutty, caramelly stuff, so try it if you find it!

  2. 2
    Sammy E. says:

    About the Salsaghetti thing, I eat it by covering the strings with the sauce (You know, just open the plastic bag and spread the sauce along the strings). You know, threat it like a ‘sauce’. It is a mess at the end, but it tastes good, at least for me. Anyway, Nice Review!

    PS. I know it’s a bit late to comment, but hey! I have to give it a shot! and sorry for my english, still learning!

  3. 3
    Natasha says:

    Looking to shop for mexican candy & snacks locally? Jack’s Candy & Toy is a wholesale candy store that has everything at wholesale prices – we love the spicy tamarindo!!

  4. 4
    Daniela says:

    I buy mexican candies form this site http://www.dulcemexico.com i like it

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