Why Isn’t Dessert as Popular in Mexico as in the U.S?

Posted in Food and Fun

Actually, the title above is a bit misleading: it’s not that Mexico residents don’t like desserts as much as Americans do, it’s just that they like desserts that are more subtle in their sweetness. U.S. desserts tend to be exceptionally sweet – a bit too much so by Mexico standards.

Traditional Mexican desserts usually were pudding, custard or cooked fresh fruit. Dessert was served after what often was a six-course meal, so desserts tended to be much lighter than what is considered to be a typical American dessert such as ice cream, pie or cake.

Another thing you’ll notice about traditional Mexican desserts: they aren’t fried. This may surprise Americans, considering that tacos and tortilla chips are fried. The only Mexican dessert that’s fried is a dish known as crema frita which is thick custard that’s sliced and then rolled in flour, eggs, bread crumbs, and then fried in oil.

Mexicans do enjoy their sweets at breakfast, however. Cookies, fruit and sweet rolls often are served at the first meal of the day. They also enjoy a sweet treat at mid-afternoon. It even has its own name: merienda and it includes sweet rolls, hot chocolate, cakes, cookies, and a corn porridge known as atole, which is eaten with milk, eggs, sugar, and fruit.

Anyone up for at breakfast? It’s popular in Mexico!

(Are you seeing a fruit-with-dessert pattern here? What’s more, Mexicans often like their fruit with a bit of kick: many street vendors sell fruit curbside…along with red hot chili powder to sprinkle on it.)

A dessert known as a dulce is especially popular in Mexico. A dulce more than likely is a pudding. Tortas (cakes) often have a lovely subtle sweet and are made with chick peas, carrots and cantaloupe. (Again with the fruit!)

Mexicans also love chocolate (not surprising, since they introduced this sweet treat to the world). They love hot chocolate and use chocolate in baking and in candies, as well as in meat dishes.

Check out our desserts the next time you visit one of our Mattito’s locations. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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