Traditional Mexican Snacks Everyone Loves

If you hear someone talking about Mexican culture, it usually doesn’t take long for the conversation to turn to the incredible cuisine. Although Mexican dishes like chilaquiles, tacos, and huevos rancheros are delicious, several traditional Mexican snacks can keep you satisfied throughout the day. 

The staple flavors of Mexican snacks include chili, lime, tamarind, and chamoy. Many of the snacks are corn-based or incorporate fresh fruit. 

There is a wide range of snacks in Mexico that can serve as an addition to breakfast to a midday dessert. This article will take a look at 13 traditional Mexican snacks that everyone loves.

Esquites

Esquites is the name for spicy, sweet, smoky corn off-the-cob that is often sold in small cups as street food. This delicious snack is made from elote (grilled corn ears that are covered in cream), cheese, lime, and chili and sold on the street. 

The best part about esquites is that you can eat them with a spoon and really mix the kernels with all the other tasty ingredients. These ingredients include mayonnaise, lime, cotija cheese, and chili powder.

Takis 

If you’ve ever been to a Mexican grocery store or bodega, the vibrant purple Takis bag might have caught your eye. But what exactly are Takis? Essentially, they are rolled corn tortilla chips. 

Takis are known and loved for their spicy, strong flavor. Although the traditional flavor is Fuego (chili and lime), Takis come in several flavors such as Nitro, Blue Heat, and Crunchy Fajitas. 

Duvalín 

Just as many Americans grow up eating Jell-O at lunch or snack-time, many Mexican children grow up enjoying Duvalín. 

Duvalín is a sticky pudding that comes with two flavors, known as “bi sabor.” Each cup includes a tiny spoon that you can use to mix the two flavors together. These flavors include hazelnut and vanilla, strawberry and vanilla, and hazelnut and strawberry. Given the popularity of this snack, the brand that makes it added cups that have up to four different pudding flavors. 

Fresh Fruit With Tajín 

If you’ve never had tajín, you should definitely try some as soon as possible. Tajín is a chili powder made by Empresas Tajín in Jalisco, Mexico. 

This tasty, flavorful condiment is made from ground, fried chili peppers, dehydrated lime, and sea salt. Surprisingly this powder isn’t as spicy as its shocking orange color would have you believe. Although it does have a little kick, tajín has more of a salty, citrus flavor than a really spicy one. 

Tajín was originally made as a seasoning to top fresh fruit and vegetables. Although it has several uses now, we recommend trying it out for its original purpose. You can top mango, pineapple, watermelon, cucumber, and any fruit you’d like with tajín to give it a more robust flavor. 

Gansito 

Arguably one of the most beloved snacks in Mexico is Gansitos. Gansitos are snack cakes that are filled with strawberry jelly and cream and a coconut cake. All of this is coated in chocolate and sprinkles to make the perfect midday dessert. 

Although you can have them right out of the box, to really enjoy the wonder of this snack, put them in the fridge and enjoy them as Gansitos congelados. 

Arroz Con Leche 

The direct translation of the name of this snack is “rice with milk,” and it is like Mexican rice pudding. This simple, delicious dessert is made from rice mixed with either water or milk and flavored with cinnamon, raisins, and other ingredients. 

Oftentimes, Arroz con Leche is sweetened with sugar or sweetened condensed milk. You can enjoy this dish hot or cold, so it is a fan favorite all year round! 

Duros 

Not to be confused with Doritos, duros are a crunchy Mexican snack. Before they are cooked, duros look like uncooked pasta. They are then deep-fried or heated in a microwave and end up being light, airy, and puffy. Duros are made from flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. 

Usually, you’ll find this tasty treat in the form of wagon wheels, but they are also sometimes shaped like triangles or rectangles. Although they are most often cooked at home, you can sometimes find pre-cooked duros at vendors' carts. Other names for duros include durros, duriots, or pasta para duros. 

Pelon Pelo Rico 

Lollipops and push-pop-like treats are incredibly popular in Mexico. One of these candies is Pelon Pelo Rico. 

These pops are like Push Pops filled with tamarind paste. You can get the traditional tamarind flavor or branch out and try the watermelon and sour lime flavors. 

Churritos Corn Sticks 

Churritos are the milder cousin of Takis. If you’re looking for the same rolled tortilla straw without the intense heat of Takis, Churritos might be perfect for you. Although Churritos are also chili lime-flavored, the spice is less intense. You can tell just by looking at the straws, which has a thinner coating than Takis. 

Mango Nada 

A mango nada is the perfect sweet snack for a hot summer day when you desperately need to cool off. This delicious, fruity treat is made with a base of blended mango and water that forms a puree. This puree is poured into small paper cups and frozen with a popsicle stick. Once the puree is frozen, you can enjoy the popsicle with tajín, chamoy, lime juice, and slices of fresh mango. 

Japanese-Style Peanuts 

Japanese-style peanuts are peanuts that look larger than normal peanuts because they have a hard, crunchy shell. The shell is made from wheat flour and soy sauce. You can either enjoy these nuts of their own as a snack or add a little lime juice. 

For fans of a little spicy, you can also buy the “Hot Nuts” flavor. The story about these peanuts is that a Japanese immigrant to Mexico City named Yoshigei Nakatani first made them in the 1940s and sold them in La Merced Market, a traditional public market in the city center. 

Tostilocos 

Tostilocos are essentially loaded Tostitos tortilla chips. Although there’s no official recipe for tostilocos, ingredients commonly used to top this dish include cucumber, jicama, Japanese-style peanuts, tamarind candy, chamoy, hot sauce, and lime juice. Essentially, the more toppings, the better! 

If you’re looking for even more flavor, you can use the lime or salsa verde flavor of Tostitos to give your dish an extra kick

Frescas Con Crema 

Fresas con crema is another sweet snack that you can try to make at home. This treat is made from cut strawberries and condensed milk mixed with sour cream. 

Given that the condensed milk is already quite sweet, it is best to make this dish with under-ripe strawberries. This way, the slightly sour fruit will be the perfect balance to the sweet cream. 

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Conclusion 

Although this list included 13 traditional Mexican snacks that you’ll love, there are countless snacks you can get on the streets of Mexico or in a Mexican grocery store that will be the perfect addition to your day. 

Snacks in Mexico range from sweet Arroz con Leche to spicy Takis to creamy Duvalín. They can be as simple as Japanese-style peanuts or as layered as Tostilocos. Essentially, there are no limits to the variety and flavors of Mexican snacks. So head to your local Mexican grocery store and start snacking!


Sources:

Health benefits of traditional corn, beans, and pumpkin: in vitro studies for hyperglycemia and hypertension management | NIH

Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review | NCBI

5 Benefits of Eating Spicy Food | Cleveland Clinic

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