Growing up Mexican-American has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage: you get the best of both worlds when it comes to food. Enchiladas and Spaghetti. Takis and Cheetos. ¡Sponch! and Oreos.
One disadvantage: all your non-Mexican friends think you’re loco, because you actually enjoy pouring chili-flavored powder into your mouth as a “snack.”
From Gansitos to Pelon Pelo Rico, these are the 15 snacks food every Mexican-American knows to be the best (even if everyone else thinks you’re weird.)
While your classmates were going crazy over Hostess Snack Cakes at lunchtime, you were nommin’ on the far superior snack from the pastry aisle: Gansitos. Gansitos are the ultimate treat -- a combination of fluffy, soft cake, strawberry jelly, and creamy marshmallow spread coated in chocolate and topped off with sprinkles.
¡Sponch! is really good in theory. In capitalizes on Mexican’s extreme love of marshmallows, and combines all the best parts of dessert into one overwhelmingly sweet treat. Here’s the lowdown: it’s a flaky butter cookie topped with four coconut-coated marshmallows (two strawberry, two plain.) Just for good measure, a dab of strawberry jelly is poured in the center. The best (or worst) thing about ¡Sponch! is that they come in individually wrapped packages -- each containing six cookies each. It’s takes a truly brave soul to eat six ¡Sponch!ies in one sitting.
If your high school was anything like ours, there was that one entrepreneurial spirit who bought these in bulk and sold them for 50 cents a pop in the hallways. We could never resist the spicy crunch of Takis, and we ate them for breakfast more often than we’d like to admit. There are rumors that Takis causes cancer and ulcers in children, but, honestly, it’s a risk we’re willing to take.
While your friends chowed down on Sour Punch Straws, you were busy slurping up the spicier alternative: Skwinkles.
Because everything is better with chili. Always. Skwinkles are available at Amazon.
5. De La Rosa
There's no good way to eat a De La Rosa without getting deliciously flaky marzipan all over yourself. Just count your losses, and dig in. De La Rosa is available at Amazon.
Eating too much Pulparindo may have put you at risk for lead poisoning, but that’s the price you pay for scrumptious tamarindo pulp coated in sugar, salt, and chili. Pulparindo is available at Amazon.
7. Limon 7
Eating Limon 7 wasn’t about pleasure. Eating Limon 7 wasn’t about enjoying yourself. Eating Limon 7 was a battle to the death. Whoever could down the most of the lemon-salt powder before tearing up was the true Mexican candy champion.
8. Paletas de Cajeta
Coronado Paletas de Cajeta are made with goat’s milk -- which gives them that rich, smooth caramel flavor that you just don’t get with American candy. It would take us weeks to get through a package of paletas de cajeta, because it takes forever to lick through the dense, sticky lollipops. Paletas de Cajeta are available at Amazon.
9. Bubu Lubu
In case you haven't noticed: Mexicanos love marshmallows, and everyone has their favorite marshmallow infused treat. Some prefer Gansitos, while others count Bubu Lubu as their fave. The dessert consists of a bar of dense marshmallow and strawberry jelly coated with crunchy chocolate. Bubu Lubu is available at Amazon.
RIP Lucas Acidito. The candy that defined our childhoods was banned in several states for containing excessive amounts of lead. Gone, but never forgotten. No, but seriously, we’ll never be able to forget how much Lucas we ate -- especially when we start to experience strange lead-related side effects twenty years down the road.
You can still find other Lucas products on shelves. And, if you get really lucky, you might even stumble upon a retailer that sells Lucas Acidito, Super Lucas, and Lucas Limon.
These crack cookies are astonishingly addictive. Obleas consist of a super thin wafer stuffed with cajeta. Basically, they taste like communion wafers with caramel. We promise you'll eat the entire pack of wafers in one sitting...and still have an uncontrollable urge to eat more. Obleas can be found at Amazon.
Duvalin is one of the hardest snacks to explain to non-Mexicans. It consists of a shallow, plastic cup filled with a frosting-like candy that comes in two flavors: hazelnut and vanilla or strawberry and vanilla. The candy even comes with a small, flat spoon, so you can just shove all that sugar straight into your mouth.
This candy is perfection. Rebanaditas is an impeccable blend of sweet, spicy, and sour flavors. Everyone knew that your reward for getting through the spicy chili coating was a sweet, refreshing, and slightly tangy watermelon center. Truly, it’s heaven on a stick.
14. Pelon Pelo Rico
If there’s one thing all Mexicanos love, it’s tamarindo flavored anything. Pelon Pelo Rico is disgusting in theory, but delicious in practice. You squeeze the gooey candy out of a grate, producing a horrifying Medusa-like effect (Hence, the unusual name.) If you can get past the slightly undignified eating method, you're in for a real treat.
15. Chilipiquin Portico
Chili, salt, and sugar all in an amazingly delicious, powdery form. Portico also gets major points for the convenient package design, which allows you to pour the powder straight into your mouth.