By Kathy Taylor
On Valentine’s Day in Mexico, just as in the rest of the Americas, it is traditional to give and receive candy or chocolate or sweets to show your love and affection. Expressions of love and friendship are a bit more typical in Mexico, and you shouldn’t be surprised to receive a sweet treat from a good friend or relative. Obviously, the intent is no different than giving or receiving a big heart shaped box of chocolates, but here, a talavera platter full of Mexican dulces just might be headed your way.
Here is a guide to a typical platter of sweet treats.
A pecan-studded Marina de nuez- like most of the sweets, it is milk based, with ground nuts and sugar.
Cocada Natural– a shredded coconut delight, sometimes flavored with chocolate or dulce de leche.
Borrachito de naranja – orange flavored fruit jelly rolled in sugar.
Mazapan– one of the most popular of every day treats, generally made with peanuts instead of almonds. Mazapan is sold in tienditas everywhere, small cellophane wrapped discs, under the de la Rosa brand.
Tortita de Santa Clara – created in the convent of Santa Clara in Puebla, a round cooked topped with dulce de pepita, a sweet cream made with ground pumpkin seeds.
Borrachito de lemon – lemon flavored fruit jelly.
Cocada yemita – (bottom center) this is yet another kind of shredded coconut delight, cooked with egg yolks and sugar.
The sweets are symmetrically repeated on the other side of the talavera plate, and the raised section in the middle, clockwise, feature :
Macarones or macaronis- milk and sugar concoction extruded in bars.
Jamoncillo – a type of milk fudge, dulce de leche, with vanilla, a touch of cinnamon and often, pecans.
In the centre of the platter is a peach-shaped and shaded Figura de Mazapan.
Hidden from view under the peach are paper-wrapped cigar-shaped Camotes – a sweet potato confection, flavored with different fruit essences like strawberry and lime.
Happy Valentine’s Day.