Let’s talk about Mexican snacks. They are simple in essence but not simple in flavours. If there’s something sweet, then we love to add chilli, salt and lime juice to it. We grow up having cherry lollipops covered in chilli as a sweet or cucumber and oranges covered in lime juice and chilli powder. Our taste buds are often looking to be on fire, what can we say?
Here are some of the most common and easy snacks that we often have when we get together with friends, when we watch movies or when we feel peckish. Why not have them all on a super tasty grazing board? Any of these are a great addition to a cheese platter too!
Cinemas in Mexico sell, as in many other places, popcorn. However, the interesting part of it is that they offer a selection of toppings that you can freely add to it. One of the most common ones is Valentina hot sauce. The popcorn goes soggy immediately and even when that doesn’t sound too appealing, it is delicious and one of the simplest and healthiest snacks one can have. When we make these at home, we also add lime juice! Another commonly available topping in Mexican cinemas is pickled jalapeños!
Fruit with chilli and lime juice
A classic for every Mexican soul. There is something delicious about combining fresh, sweet fruit with lime juice and chilli powder. You can buy them from street vendors, at school and often enjoyed at home. The range of fruits is wide and varied: coconut slices, pineapple, oranges, mango, cucumber and watermelon are just some of the common ones. If you haven’t tried mixing fresh fruit with lime and chilli powder, you should! It tickles every corner of the mouth. Our chilli powder of choice will always be Tajin
Queso con ate or Cheese with fruit paste
Ate is a paste made with fruit pulp and sugar. The consistency is that of hard jelly or a soft gummy bear. The most common fruits to use are quince and guava. It is quite common to cut the ate into small pieces and combine them with cheese as a nice snack. Once again, sweet and savoury enjoyed together. Our Guava Paste from La Costeña is incredibly delicious with brie cheese. This will be a very nice addition to any cheese platter!
Candied or spiced nuts are incredibly common in Mexico. Peanuts are usually candied in caramel but also spiced with chilli powder in different ways. We decided that a mix of both is best because there’s nothing better than crunchy sweetness and spice in one bite. Tip: Use mixed nuts with dried fruit for even more flavours and textures at play. The dried cranberries here are a flavour bomb with honey and chilli powder! Highly addictive.
-1 cup mixed nuts and dried cranberries
-2 Tbsp Honey
-1 Tbsp Adobo Seasoning (the ancho powder in this seasoning is the key)
-1 Tbsp Tajin
1 Heat oven to 180°C
2 In a bowl mix the honey and spices. Taste to see if you want more sweetness or spice. Fold the nuts and cranberries in the mix and coat well.
3 Lay flat in a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Stir them around and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. They should not burn. When you take them out of the oven the spiced honey will still be liquid but it will harden as they cool down
Cream cheese with strawberry-chipotle jam
Now, here’s another interesting mix of ingredients. At parties or reunions, you can find cream cheese covered with a blend of strawberry jam and chipotles in adobo served with cheese biscuits. Again, the flavours and textures are delicious together, very similar to having cheese and chutney. We decided to make it into pastries for a different experience but the flavours are all there. These are dangerously moreish! The chipotle adobo adds just a hint of heat but is never overwhelming. It just adds depth to this tart. Scary? Try making just 4 with one sheet of puff pastry. You will love them and will be making more in no time.
- 1 Puff pastry sheet
-1 Egg beaten
-2 Heaped Tbsp strawberry jam
-1 tbsp Adobo from Chipotles in Adobo La Costeña
-Fresh strawberries quartered
1 Set oven to 200°C
2 In a small bowl, mix the strawberry jam and the adobo from the chipotles. Start small and build from there. We don’t recommend adding the chipotle peppers since they can be a bit too spicy and overwhelming. The adobo works great instead!
3 Work the puff pastry into a rectangle and divide it into 4 even pieces
4 Add bits of the cream cheese to the centre of each piece, dollop a bit of the chipotle jam on top, brush a little bit of the egg wash to the pastry edges and close them. Add a slice of fresh strawberry on top and brush the puff pastry with egg.
5 Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pastry is lovely and golden brown.
6 Let them cool and enjoy!
Have you tried any of these? Share with us if you have! Happy snacking!
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