mexican candy.

I arrived home one evening to find a package in the foyer, unopened and addressed to the new Mr. and Mrs. of the house. Shockingly, it was unopened. Josh had been home during the day, so he had been in the house with the package, and yet he had not opened it. For some reason, he had waited.

Now, some of you might think, awww, he waited until you could open it together. Well, if that was his plan, I thwarted it immediately. I also thwarted the dogs' plan to go outside and do their doggie business. I was just thwarting all over the place.

That was not Josh's plan. Josh just knows that between the two of us, one of us really likes to open things, flinging tape and wrapping paper right and left in a flurry of ripping until I am left panting next to an open box, styrofoam peanuts in my hair.

It was a present, from our friends in New Mexico. Opening the package revealed more opening, as contained therein were several small things wrapped in brown paper and cushioned with bubble wrap. I unwrapped them each and made a stack on the counter. Six cans of roasted chiles, some lemon-salt seasoning, and a whole bunch of candy. It was a New Mexico goody box!
This is not quite as strange a gift as it might seem. Several years ago, one of Josh's friends was getting married. I went out one day with the mission of finding a gift. Either I did not have any registry information due to Josh being essentially useless at communicating any sort of information or I was feeling particularly anti-registry at the moment. In any case, I ended up at the Asian grocery store, where I bought a bunch of candy. Asian candy is awesome and inexplicable. The packaging is geared to another culture and is frequently in another language, so you're never really sure what you're getting until you take that first bite. It was my hope that the newlyweds could enjoy a big candy binge.

I actually have no idea how that present was received. They may have hated it all and vowed to not invite us to anything ever again. But I thought it was great, so we started buying Asian candy for everyone that got married. Including our New Mexico friends, who received their own giant bag of weird candy last November. They must have liked it, because they shipped us a big box of Mexican candy. Turns out, weird candy is universal!

To make up for not saving any package-opening fun for Josh, I sent him a picture of the contents, because that's the same.

And I did wait for him to come home before I actually ate anything. We had a little Mexican candy tasting party. Here are our findings.

The box says that these are dulce de leche almohaditas, which means sweet milk pillows.

Wouldn't you like a sweet milk pillow?

I sure as heck would, because these were AWESOME. They were sort of like those candy orange slices, except far superior - creamier and less chewy. They came in six color-coded flavors which were listed on the box. Not that I could read the box, but a couple of the flavors had some recognizable words, like "tequila" and "whiskey." The word borrachine is the feminine version of borrachin, which means drunkard. So some kind of liquor candy. Feminine liquor candy.

Nugs - Before I get to the candy, I just want to say what a great time I had talking about Nugs. I missed no opportunity to say the name. You want some Nugs? I got a whole box of Nugs. Someone sent me some Nugs through the mail and now I got Nugs comin' out my ears.

Nugs are sorta like a condensed Snickers. If you took out the nougat and chopped the nuts up smaller, you'd have Nugs. These were Josh's favorite, but they were the only ones that contained chocolate. I could not find a picture, mostly because "nug" is marijuana slang, and I got tired of scrolling through pictures of contraband. I would've taken a picture of my own Nugs, but I ate them all. I ate all the Nugs.

Nucita Trisabor
I can totally understand why our friends picked these out, because the box does not really indicate what they are. They look like Handi-Snacks. There is a cartoon dinosaur on the front, because Mexican kids like dinosaurs and sugar just like us. Inside the box was a bunch of little plastic dinosaur-shaped sticks, similar to the Handi-Snack sticks used to spread cheese product on cracker product. You're meant to use the little dino-stick as a spoon.

Inside each package is a trio of flavored icings, laid out neapolitan style. The children are being encouraged to just eat straight icing. It was gross. I'd much rather have a Pixy Stix. Apparently there is a version of them with just vanilla and chocolate, with a squirrel as a mascot. What's up with that, Mexico?

San Juan
(Picture is not the same brand as we had, but it appears to be the same candy) These are very cutely packaged. At first, we thought that the white you see on the label was part of the packaging, then we discovered that it was inside the package. And then we thought it was weird that they'd put little pieces of card paper in each one before we finally realized that it was part of the candy. If only we had read the label, which said Obleas con Cajeta (wafers with goat's milk caramel).

These were delicious. The wafers were like communion wafers, but thinner. The caramel was not as hard and taffy-like as the caramels I've eaten in the past. Must be the goat's milk.

Guava Wafers
These are more commonly called sugar wafers. I've had the strawberry and vanilla versions, so I'm not sure what makes them Mexican other than the flavor. I mean, Nabisco makes them. For some reason, they remind me of Sunday school. I ate these after I'd eaten everything else.

Bubbaloo Tamarindo Chile gum
Tamarind is a fruit that is indigenous to Africa, but it was introduced to Mexico and Mexico said yes, please. The only place I have ever come across tamarind is in the Mexican aisle, where they have tamarind soda. I do not enjoy tamarind-flavored products. It's a weird, earthy sort of flavor. But then again, maybe I just haven't had it prepared properly. I am open to loving tamarind.

According to the wiki page, Bubbaloo was the first gum to feature a liquid center. Also, the brand mascot, Bubba the Cat, is known for being creative, ingenious, and intelligent.

This gum was chili-flavored, moderately spicy. The tamarind coating went away very quickly, though that lovely brown color stayed. The gum kept its flavor much longer than Hubba Bubble style. That might be a factor of the chili, which may stick around in the mouth even after all the flavor crystals have gone away. We got sick of chewing the stuff before the flavor ran out, which is not exactly a compliment.

We did not have any more of these. Josh is planning on taking both these and the Nucitas to work, where there are several real live Mexicans. Maybe they will be transported back to their childhoods, or maybe they'll tell us that crap is just for the tourists.

And there you have it! If you have enjoyed this rundown, please feel free to send me candy and I will happily review it for your pleasure.

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