Cinco Sensational Sinoloan Sweets

Mazatlan1

While exploring the local culinary scene during the Gran Fiesta Amigos de Mazatlán, I was introduced to a plethora of sugar high-inducing sweets that really made an impression on me. Here are the five (plus a few bonus entries) most sensational Sinaloan dulces that passed these lips in chronological order…

Uno!

Jamoncillo de Leche - Puerta de Canoas

Following lunch in Puerta de Canoas, we walked over to Jamoncillos de Doña Delia a few feet away to taste the shop’s signature candies: jamoncillos.

Jamoncillo de Leche - Puerta de Canoas

Also known as Mexican fudge, these bite-sized caramel kisses are made by cooking down leche de bronco (unpasteurized cow’s milk) with brown sugar.

Jamoncillo de Leche - Puerta de Canoas

The mixture is cooled before being neatly extruded from a pastry bag. Doña Delia serves these plain and coated in nuts.

Jamoncillo de Leche - Puerta de Canoas

The plain ones tasted mostly sweet, while their nutty counterparts were balanced bites. Both melted much too quickly on my tongue.

Dos!

Restaurante El Meson De Los Laureanos - El Quelite, Sinaloa

On my second day in town, we visited Restaurante El Meson De Los Laureanos in El Quelite for the most important meal of the day. Following a fabulous breakfast spread, the restaurant served a parade of desserts including this most intriguing pre-Hispanic number made of dehydrated green papaya sweetened with molasses.

According to the restaurant’s owner, in order to make cubiertos de papaya, green papayas are covered in calcium powder and left in the sun for an entire day before being baked in the oven for another full day.  This results in an amazingly leathery exterior and pudding-like innards. It’s an unabashedly sugary treat that satisfies even the most serious of sweet tooths. This kind of treatment is also popular with squash and watermelons.

Restaurante El Meson De Los Laureanos - El Quelite, Sinaloa

Joining the cubiertos de papaya were five additional desserts including comote en mielado (center), a chunky mash of sweet potato, molasses, and pineapple; empanada de papaya (left), a sweet bread filled with an even sweeter filling…

Restaurante El Meson De Los Laureanos - El Quelite, Sinaloa

…a corn tamale that displayed great restraint compared to the others, with the corn’s natural sweetness really coming through…

Restaurante El Meson De Los Laureanos - El Quelite, Sinaloa

…and two smooth and chilled puddings—leche quemada (burnt milk) and pineapple. Both were dynamite and so cooling in the heat.

Tres!

El Quelite - Sinaloa, Mexico

Following breakfast at Restaurante El Meson De Los Laureanos, we stopped by El Quelite’s 45-year-old panaderia run by Mario Antonio and his wife Sylvia.

El Quelite - Sinaloa, Mexico

The quaint little shop was nice and toasty from the oven’s residual heat, and the breads and cakes perfumed the air.

El Quelite - Sinaloa, Mexico

Everything had been baked fresh just hours before and the selection was enticing as heck. Since I was absolutely stuffed from the feast just moments before, I shared a chocolate concha and an elote, a corn-shaped and sugar-dusted sweet bread, with the group.

El Quelite - Sinaloa, Mexico

I loved the rainbow sprinkles and caramel filling on this cake, but couldn’t make room for any more.

Quatro!

Mazatlan Marshmallow Factory - Suaves

If I had to pick a favorite among all of the sweets I sampled during the trip, it would be the malvaviscos cubiertos de coco, also known as suaves. Doña María Clara García and her family have been producing these coconut marshmallows from her home-based factory for the past 60 years. The recipe was developed by her husband Don Salvador García Guzmán, who combined a recipe for marshmallows brought by a friend from the U.S. with his experience in a candy-making factory in Culiacán.

Mazatlan Marshmallow Factory - Suaves

Various rooms in the house have been converted into production and packaging spaces. During my visit, I witnessed the suave mixture (corn syrup, coconut oil, gelatin, sugar, and vanilla) being poured onto wood frames for shaping and cooling. To say that the air smelled sweet would be an understatement.

Mazatlan Marshmallow Factory - Suaves

The dining room served as a makeshift store, with bags of fresh suaves piled on the tabletop and stacked along the shelves.

Mazatlan Marshmallow Factory - Suaves

I procured four bags of these pillowy, coconut-coated candies for myself and a few fellow sweet seekers. Mmm!

Cinco!

Nieve de Garrafa - Mazatlan, Sinaloa

On our final night in Mazatlán, we visited Nieves Con Medrano, a family-owned ice cream cart that’s been stationed on the corner of Angel Flores and 5 de Mayo since 1938.

Nieve de Garrafa - Mazatlan, Sinaloa

Gilberto Reyes Gamboa, along with his nephew Jose Manuel Placito Reyes, were serving scoops of tropically flavored ice creams to a steady stream of patrons this evening.

Nieve de Garrafa - Mazatlan, Sinaloa

The six flavors available ranged from simple vanilla to exotic nanche.

Nieve de Garrafa - Mazatlan, Sinaloa

Based on our tour guide’s suggestion, I ordered two scoops of sweet and tangy prune ice cream sandwiched around a scoop of plain vanilla. The texture of the ice cream was icy like a sorbet, while the made-from-scratch cone was crisp and buttery. The combination of the two was delightful; it’s no wonder that this stand has been a Mazatlán institution for over 70 years.

Mazatlán: Come for the beaches. Stay for the sweets.

Jamoncillos de Doña Delia
Puerta de Canoas
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Phone: 954-42-09

Restaurante El Meson De Los Laureanos
Francisco Bernal SN
El Quelite, 82350
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Phone: 01-669-965-4194

Panderia
El Quelite
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

Suaves
German Evers
No. 61 Norte
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Phone: 981-50-80

Nieves Con Medrano
Corner of Angel Flores and 5 de Mayo
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Phone: 983-18-89

One year ago: Lucky Noodle King – San Gabriel
Two years ago: Gioia Cheese, Inc. – South El Monte
Three years ago: XT Patisserie
Four years ago: Bò Nướng Vĩ – Lemongrass Beef Grilled Tableside
Five years ago: Pass the Chè on the Left Hand Side
Six years ago: Audrey Claire – Philadelphia

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3 Responses to “Cinco Sensational Sinoloan Sweets”


  • Great post! I really liked seeing all of the different sweets. My hair stylist once gave me some jamoncillo from a recent trip to Mexico. They were shaped differently than the ones you had. It was gone within minutes. The deyhydrated papaya with molasses is something I haven’t seen before and now I’m curious to taste it one day.

  • I wish I could try the jamoncillo. They look so pretty and sounds right up my alley.

  • I continue to be jealous of your travels. Those little caramel kisses look to die for!

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