Mystery Solved: Mezquitamal

In yesterday's installment of Name That Food, I asked if anyone could identify this mystery food...



Like many of you, I thought it was some kind of cheese.  But it is not.  It's a typical Mexican candy called Mezquitamal, made by the Huicholes  in Chimaltitan, Jalisco. 



Mezquitamal is a paste made from ground up Mezquite seeds.  I am not a fan of eating raw or dried Mezquites, so I was a little hesitant to try this dulce tipico.  But dedicated blogger that I am, I finally worked up enough courage this morning to taste it.



When you cut into the Mezquitamal, it looks a little like a Queso Fresco, but the texture is kind of dry and crumbly, very much like a mazapan (Mexican marzipan).  The taste is pretty strong.  That's why it's traditionally served in small portions with a steaming mug of Atole.  The more I tried the Mezquitamal and really took the time to savor the flavor, the more I liked it.  To me it tasted like a strong herbal tea.  And it left me with this fresh and pleasant aftertaste.  Not what I expected at all.

I think I'm going to go have another slice. 

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13 comments:

  1. Candy would have never crossed my mind. Interesting.

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  2. We're told that back in the 1920s-30s ranchers in west Texas would send to the hill country for hickory wood for barbequing.  Mesquite was considered a nuisance that range animals wouldn't eat, sucked up precious moisture and wasn't even desirable for heating because of the thorns.  Obviously they didn't eat mezquitamal, and we wonder what they'd make of the marketing genius behind selling it for cooking today.

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  3. Thank you for teaching me something new. 

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  4. wow! Thanks for sharing ! I have to try it...

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  5. How interesting! Thanks for sharing. I hope I get the opportunity to try it. I will have to keep my eye out.

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  6. I'm glad you have Name That Food. It's interesting to see foods that are unfamiliar to me.

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  7. The Wise Latina ClubAugust 13, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    This is my first time here. I LOVE IT! Your post reminded me of my own adventure when I moved and lived in Mexico City in 1999-2000. I was open to trying and tasting everything-markets, truck stops etc. Although I paid dearly for it when I returned being infested with every amoeba and parasite under the sun, I learned so much about myself and this vibrant culture. No regrets.

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  8. Leslie, what an interesting post! I could have sworn this was some type of vegetable, from the cabbage family! It took me by surprise that it was a candy! I love that I've now learned what mezquitamal is! Love the photos that accompany this post. Dropping by from the LBS!

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  9. I was so not expecting candy.  I was thinking queso wrapped in cabbage leaves..... lOL  very interesting!

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  10. oh wow! i wasn't even close! I said masa! would love to try this! any recipe for it?

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  11. Aqui esta! I was on your recipe site, looking for it. Sounds cool. Almost like an aperitif. Would've never guessed candy, girl.

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  12. Leslie: There are still other foods under the name "mezquitamal". One of them is prepared in rural Chihuahua with crushed mezquite seeds and pods but then the paste is baked in an oven. The baked pieces look like cookies, and it is absolutely delicious!

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