We haven’t been to Mexico yet, have we? Isn’t it about time? After all, Mexico is the birthplace of America’s favorite candy: chocolate. The Spaniards wasted no time stealing that cocoa-bean drink from the Aztecs and before long chocolate bars began appearing in the mid-1800s around the world.
In Mexico, though, chocolate gave way to candies that use some of that country’s more abundant crops. Sugar, more example. Unlike Eastern European candy, there’s no lack of sugar in Mexican candy.
But the most curious crop used in Mexican candy is chili. The result is sweets that are also spicy. Sweet and hot.
Here’s another interesting factoid. Mexico has thousands (literally) of candy makers, in a country where candy consumption equals only about $6 bucks per person. In the U.S. candy consumption totals about $50 per person. Guess where Mexican candy companies are trying to sell their goods?
One of those companies is the thoroughly entertaining Dulces Vero, a large candy company based in Guadalajara in Central Mexico. Their specialty: lollipops!
Today, we’ll be looking at one lollipop in particular, the utterly perplexing Mango Chili Pop.
First, we urge everyone to spend a few minutes over at the Dulces Vero website. This is truly a beauty of Western Marketing. Designed with kids in mind – like a off-kilter Anima story line – all the company’s products have alternate “superhero” identities. Our lollipop, the Vero Mango, looks kind of like a brown Hershey’s kiss with muscles and giant cartoon sneakers. I’d grab a pic if I could find one, but the site is flash. There are games kids can play and songs, and a unreal drawing of all the candy characters in a parade. You won’t be able to get the song out of your hear. Fill your soul and have a look here: http://www.dulcesvero.com.mxl
So, on to the lollipop. As you may have guessed, this is a Meenakshi special. She discovered Chili Mango lollipops as a kid in Chicago. For Dan, this candy may as well have fallen from the moon.
Both agreed that the candy just looks kind of, well, disgusting. It’s a sort of brown, gritty looking glob on the end of a standard lollipop stick.
Meena’s review: she just kept saying “Hmmmm, yummy!” over and over and smiling a lot. Then, when she bit into the candy and hit the mango center, she licked her lips and said “Yummy” even louder.
Dan, having never experienced a candy both spicy and sour at the same time had a somewhat different reaction. He found the initial chili coating a bit difficult to get through. The texture was sort of like really hot sandpaper and required some water to get through it. Once having arrived at the mango part, the taste changed to sour and was delicious! Dan’s a big fan of Meena’s mom’s Mango Lassi and this was like that only a hard candy version. Not overly sugared either.
If you can get through the chili, and this will be somewhat off-putting to those not accustomed to this sort of candy taste, the chili mango lollipop can be a great trail snack.
DISCLAIMER: We make every effort in this column to make sure the snacks we review are not dangerous in any way. So, we felt this review required a bit of a disclaimer. The FDA has been fining and regulating Mexican candy makers for years on the grounds that some of the products, allegedly, are high in levels of lead. As a result, some of these candy makers have begun to produce two recipes, one to pass the FDA regs so it can be imported, and one to sell in Mexico. The Orange County Register did major investigation on the issue last year. Judge for yourself, the story can be found here: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/treats-219223-candy-makers.html
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