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La Paz: The Snacks04:10 PM -- Fri April 8, 2005

The Snacks
Don't read this if you're the type who doesn't want to look at peoples' vacation slides (i.e. normal) - it's not anything interesting
I'm just sharing it because this was my first time ever outside the U.S.! It was all news to me.

Ah, this is the whole point of this entire journaling thing! You see, I have a thing for snacks/candy of other countries. So I made a point to keep buying little snacks all over the place and try them, so I could journal their worth. I believe every country has great surprises to offer us in terms of snack ideas, and so far my belief has been thoroughly validated.

One note though: a very large amount of the candy in Mexico has chili powder all over it. I regret to say I never tried any such candy. My stomach cannot handle really spicy stuff, and I was afeared. But even if you don't live in Mexico, you can find that stuff in almost any US supermarket (well, at least here in California), so give it a try! Here we go:
  • Dalmate - One popular trend in Mexican snacks is to fortify them with vitamins and minerals. Probably a good plan - if your kids are going to be eating candy anyway, make them get something out of it. This particular fortified bar is like a twinkie, but with white frosting completely covering it, and chocolate spots scattered all over. Dalmate is spanish for dalmation! Inside though, the cake is chocolate, and the goo is yet more chocolate. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though it's rather rich.

  • Cuernitos Rellenos De Vainilla - I'm just calling them that because I don't remember the name. They're little tiny croissants that are injected with pudding-like goo. I got vanilla, but chocolate was also available. These things amaze me. When I say croissants, I really mean it - flaky and all! Can you imagine little tiny real croissants in like a doritos bag? They were very good too.

  • Krankys - Chocolate-covered corn flakes. I got them in the grocery store in one of those bulk candy fill-your-own places. Got a few good things there! I would really love Krankys if it weren't the kind of low-quality chocolate that his a hint of raisin flavor to it. I bet you have no idea what I mean by that, but it's just something I notice in low-quality chocolate. I'm a connoiseur. Even so, they were quite good. Maybe I'll make my own someday with good chocolate.

  • Barquillas Con Chocolate - I think that was the name. Barquillas means "logs" in spanish, and they were just that. A cookie the same size and shape as a cinnamon stick (but made of something akin to those wafer cookies), covered in a thick layer of chocolate embedded with chocolate sprinkles. These were among my absolute favorites! I also got these in the bulk candy aisle.

  • fjhflkhdf Mandarin? - These hardly count, and I obviously don't recall the name, but they're little tiny orbs of candy, mandarin orange flavor. They're a lot like orange-flavored Cherry Clan (if you don't know what that is, it's kind of like cherry flavored Lemonheads... in fact, they now call them Cherryheads... and if you don't know what Lemonheads are, you need candy help!). They're pretty good, but do not excite and amaze.

  • Manzanita Sol - This is actually a soft drink. I like to try all methods of snacking. It's apple flavored, not carbonated, but yet it has sort of a fizzy taste anyway. It's rather good.

  • Horchata - This is a Mexican classic. You can get it a lot of places in the US (like Mexican restaurants for example). It's a drink made with milk and rice flour, with some cinnamon going on. It's really good. It's rather light and watery, rather than heavy and thick like you'd expect something milk oriented to be.

  • Fresas Con Crema - A Sol favorite. You get it in an ice cream shop. It's just a cup filled with cut strawberries, then cream is poured over them (not whipped cream, but whipping cream - liquidy!), and they squeeze a little sweetened condensed milk on top. It's very very good. You can make your own even! We did when we got home, but someone decided to get half & half to cut the calorie content, because someone doesn't appreciate the fine art of snacking. Never go diet!

  • Churros - Everybody knows churros. Boy, I love churros. I have yet to pass a churro stand without obtaining some, except for that whole Churro Lady fiasco (and I still put up with her antics twice for that crispy, chewy, cinnamon goodness). And in Mexico, it will shock you to learn, they're actually less than 1/10 the price they are at Disneyland! Can you imagine? Could Disneyland be overcharging for something?! Oh, incidentally, the first churros I got from the churro lady were Churros Rellenos, which were relleno (filled) with some kind of caramel goop. It was good, but not as good as sencillo (simple).

  • Emperador - Exactly like oreos, only square. I wouldn't have bought them, since they are obviously oreos, but at the snack stand I went to there was a big box of different "paketines" (little boxes of cookies), each a different color, but with their labels obscured. So I had to ask the guy what each one was in turn. When the first one turned out to be white chocolate (blech) with nuts, I had no problem sending it back to try the next, but when the second was oreos, I didn't have the chutzpah to ask him to take that back and try another. I don't mind, I like oreos, it's just not an amazing Mexican adventure. Also, at the La Paz airport right before we left, I grabbed another box of these, in vanilla flavor. For you see, all Gamesa snack products (Dalmate and Emperador, in my case) offer little holographic alien cards inside. Collect all 30! I collected 3.

  • Patas De Pollo - That means "chicken feet", and that's what they are. No, don't freak out, they're gummies. They're good, they have a lot of flavor. I have no idea why they decided to make them chicken foot shaped.

  • Pepitoria De Cacahaute - You can get these in health food stores in the US. It's a little bar made entirely of nuts (peanuts here, cacahuate), all glued together with honey and such. It's pretty good, if a bit intense.

  • Dulce De Cacahuate - I'm gonna have to call not-so-good on this one. It's a little coin of stuff in plastic. The coin is made of ground up peanuts, and apparently 3 truckloads of sugar. It crumbles into dust when you try to eat it (partly because it rumbled around in a suitcase for a few days before consumption), and I swear it just tastes like you're eating frosting.

  • Paleta De Pin~a - I can't figure out how to put a tilde on the N, sorry. Paleta means popsicle. Pin~a means pineapple. But the popsicles in La Paz aren't your ordinary ones. They're filled with tons of fruit chunks. The pineapple one we had was basically just chunks of pineapple frozen together with some sugar water! It's extremely good.

  • Agua De Limon - One of the types of things you can order at an ice cream shop is called an Agua Fresca, but it's not just a fresh water. It's a watery drink, something like lemonade for example. Horchata is an agua fresca, and agua de limon is a lime one (limeade pretty much). It's pretty good. I kept trying to get an agua de pin~a (I'm all about the pin~a), but every store was always out of it.

  • Licuado - We had licuado de fresa (strawberry). They say licuados are milkshakes, but they're a little different. They're not very cold, because they make it right in front of you, and the ingredients are: fresh strawberries, cream (from the fridge, the only cool part of it), and a touch of honey. There may have been something else in there I didn't notice, but there was no ice or ice cream, so it was just slightly cool rather than brain-freeze. It's very good.

  • Sponch! - An interesting concept. Imagine smores made with peeps instead of marshmallows (both pink and white peeps for variety), and coconut bits instead of chocolate. Oh, and throw in some strawberry goo between the peeps, since coconut isn't much of a chocolate substitute. Actually it was not as gross as I expected. But it wasn't good, and it's just not right to eat peeps. Ever.

  • Pin~ada - Sol ordered this several times. It's basically a virgin pin~a colada. It's quite good.
And there you have it. Snacking our way through Mexico, one city at a time. Stay tuned later today, since this was late, for the next exciting episode.
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