You can tell a lot about a culture by its food, especially its snack food – no more so than in Mexico where the snacks combine sweet, spicy and savory flavours in the most scrumptious ways. Naturally, that’s to be expected coming from a culture where its cuisine, rooted in spices, produces a rich, pungent sauce such as mole, generally served with chicken, often comprised of 20 or more ingredients – mostly spices – and sometimes made with chocolate. Yes, chocolate. So a lolly (candy) flavoured with peach and chili makes sense, right?

Shopping San Miguel de Allende’s Mega supermercado was such a delight that we found ourselves lugging home more than the usual amount of bags we’d have to carry after a typical grocery shop. Many of them were filled with ‘research samples’ (well, that’s what I’m calling them, okay?) for my Take-Homes post, so rather than just write the one post that I usually do per destination, for San Miguel I’m giving you a whole series – the first was on Supermarket Souvenirs and this one is on Spicy Snacks.

Based on my extensive testing, here’s what I suggest you try:
* Pap’s – papas fritas con chile habanero y limon – crunchy potato crisps doused in habanero chili powder and lime that are spicy and tangy and are super washed down with an icy Corona.
* Palepina con chilito – paleta de caramelo savor pina con chile – these lollipops are flavoured with pineapple, chili and caramel, so they are simultaneously sweet, fruity and spicy!
* Comitas enchiladas – my favourite: chewy, chili-flavoured fruit gummies that come in tamarind, watermelon, peach and mango – you know how some of us prefer different flavoured M&Ms or snakes (I always eat the red snakes first), well, with these, they are all delish!
* Sabritas –’sabritas cacahuates cubiertos con queso y sabor a chile’ – these ‘flaming hot’ nuts are covered with cheese, lashings of chili and loads of citrus, and they’re super-spicy and super-addictive! The only problem is that they leave you with red fingers afterwards.
* Tama-Roca – these ‘lollypops’ are, in effect, giant balls of spicy and salty, natural tamarind, rolled into a lollypop shape. They’re unusual and very sweet, but you have to be careful as there are seeds inside – could be dangerous if you don’t know to look out for them.
* Taki’s – ‘fuego pequenas tortillas de maiz enrolladas y freidas sabor chile y limon’ – oh, yum! If you like the covered nuts above, you’ll love these too – little rolled tacos covered in spicy chili powder and lime, better known as taki snacks. They’re fantastic served with a margarita.

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