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Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth

By: Susana Raymundo

Guatemalan fairs are filled with all kinds of sweets and goodies.  When you head to the fair you’ll immediately be overrun with vendors hawking all kinds of things cotton candy.  While you’ll certainly enjoy the blue, yellow and pink cotton candies, we strongly recommend avoiding the brown cotton candy.  No good can come from that.  Beyond sweets that are sold everywhere, you should also make sure to check out sweets only available in Guatemala.

Chilacoyotes are very tasty sweets that are similar (kinda, sorta) to watermelons—at least in how they look.  Cooked in water, sugar and cinnamon, these sweets are roughly the size of your hand and have white seeds and white flesh.  Camote is a red potato that gets boiled in sweet water and is served without skin.  It is very slimy and very sweet.  Finally, make sure and try the manzana en dulce which looks like a regular caramel apple, but is here prepared with some special spices.

One thing that you need to make sure that you do not miss out on at the fair are roscas, which are a very, very traditional kind of cookie.  The look like bread, but have a taste like a toasted donut.  The proper way to eat these to get all of the flavor is to dunk them into a glass of coffee, tea or milk for a very special taste.  Dunking in a glass of tequila will give you a very different special taste.  These will likely be found in the commercial area of the fair.

Another very traditional food at the fair are helotes locos, crazy corn.  What makes them crazy? Well after boiling them, they will cover them with mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, picante and powdered cheese.  If this sound like a bit much for you, then you can go for a lemon wedge and a pinch of salt to get a tasty flavor.  By the churrascos you will also be able to find ears of corn that are cooked on the grill.

Finally, if you’re looking to grab something sweet to go, then make sure to grab yourself a bag of buñuelos.  These will be fairly obvious to find, as they are cooked in large tubs of cooking oil.  Donut-hole sized pieces of dough are placed in the oil.  They grow crispy as they are being fried, but you will receive yours in a plastic bag filled with honey and fig leaves.  It should go without saying, however, that you should space out eating these foods and riding the rides for obvious reasons, that we see no need to mention in this article.

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