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Snacks of D.F.: Alegrías

One of the many hot sales items in the streets & the stalls of D.F. are these little numbers, which I understand may or may not be called alegrías. This word means ‘happiness’ in Spanish, which is essentially how you HAVE to feel when eating anything this brightly colored. The paper-thin disks are usually made from ground up amaranth, a grain most similar to corn. Then, the insides are lined with a honey-ish substance to make them stick together, and some seeds (my vote is pumpkin) fashionably line the edges. (Wow, if that isn’t a data-heavy, clearly-well-researched description, then I don’t know what is.)
These food colorings are totally natural. Trust me.

These food colorings are totally natural. Trust me.

I received my first alegrías from a semi-regular taxi driver that I took a liking to because a) he knew an efficient route from my work to my house, b) his car doesn’t stink, c) his car doesn’t have stink covered up with crappy air-freshener, and d) I can understand maybe 70% of his Spanish. Carlos was supposed to pick me up one day, but after waiting ~30 minutes on the street with a dead cell phone, I returned to my office & called back to discover he was stuck in traffic somewhere & would not arrive in the forseeable future. Boo.

However, given the horrors of traffic here, I magnanimously decided to give him a second chance. He showed his appreciation through a gift of alegrías awaiting me in the taxi. And as you can see in the photo, they did indeed elicit happiness.

P.S. For any of my local readers, please feel free to correct me on any of the various likely-inaccurate facts mentioned above. :)

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  1. I regret to tell you that those are not alegrías. I don’t know their name, although I see them everywhere.

    These are alegrías:http://www.cca.org.mx/ec/cursos/ad057/contenido/imagenes/amaranto/alegrias2.jpg

    You might like to add Mexico Cooks! to your blog roll. Let me know if you do.


  2. Julie says:

    Hi Cristina!

    Thanks for the note; yes, I have been meaning to make an update after I learned from a market vendor their true name…. but of course I promptly forgot it. :) These will be identified before I leave Mexico City!!

  3. Liz says:

    The name of these snack-candy (dulce mexicano) is named Pepitorias, and are made of obleas, the honey substance (sugar or cajeta) and the pumpkin seeds.
    Here you can see how theme are made http://www.elbalero.gob.mx/fondita/html/cuca/dulces/15.htm

    The obleas are made of flour and water.

  4. Julie says:

    Hey Liz! Thanks for solving the mystery!! :) Love the how-to website as well!

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