Sweet Treats from the Merida Market

I'm back on the grid and enjoying the island life and food in Cozumel: fresh fish, pineapple, papayas, avocados - I was made to eat like this. I also started an intensive Spanish course here, so I'll be inserting little bits of it into my blog entries...

Not too long ago, I visited the big beautiful bustling colonial city of Merida. The highlight for me was the enormous Yucatecan market. (That's me in the market surrounded by spices, seeds, fruit, honey... Thanks for the photo Crispin!) Local goods from pineapples to machetes to sandals made from old tires are all for sale in this vibrant downtown market. To me it felt like a curios mix of Mayan, Mexican, Cuban, and Spanish. (Martha Stewart has some great pics from the same market here.) Here are a few of my scores:

Pumpkin seed marzipan (Mazapan de pepita). As far as I know, this is a Yucatecan specialty. They shape and colour it to look like miniature corn cobs, hot peppers, and other produce. Some pieces are dusted with wonderfully aromatic cinnamon (canela). Amazing to nibble on while sipping a dark coffee or espresso.

Another score from the confection stand were these 3 sweet treats (left to right): toasted pepitas with sugar and honey, toasted amaranth with raisins and seeds and nuts, pepita nougat. I'm not sure what these are called - so please let me know if you do - but they are all incredibly delicious. (Since they're packed with healthy stuff like pepitas and amaranth, they're pretty good for you too!)

More to come maƱana... ;) Stay warm amigos!



Wish I was there! Those treats look so yummy.

me too...after my New

me too...after my New Zealand Vacation... i am surely coming here....


Thanks for the message on my blog. It's so cool that you are able to spend the time you are in Mexico. I noticed when you go on a trip, you are there for a while - as people do in most countries. It really stinks here in the U.S. where 1 week is a good vacation and 2 weeks is absolute luxury. Beyond that, I can't even fathom. I hope to change that in our household one day. :) Enjoy your holiday and be safe!

Hey Koala, Always great to

Hey Koala,
Always great to see what you're up to to!

In Canada, the average full-timer only gets about 3 weeks a year (total) vacation time. We work way too hard - it has to change. In France, they have twice as much vacation time to start - and more longer you work. Consequently, they are incredibly productive.

We sold our condo and quit our day jobs in order to do this 4-6 month trip. That's what it took for us. Not sure what we'll do after, but that's OK. :)

Pumpkin Seed marzipan- ok I

Pumpkin Seed marzipan- ok I will leave it up to you to learn how to make this so we can have a cook fest when you get back :) I also love the amaranth! North America has become so devoid of the large variety of whole grains that exist.



North America has amaranth growing everywhere but we call it PIGWEED!! It's mostly used as an ornamental or has gone wild, but if you let it go to flower and then develop seeds, you'll be able to shake the pods and get your own wild/foraged amaranth.

Good to know, thanks!

Good to know, thanks!

Hola Jackie, Sounds like a

Hola Jackie,
Sounds like a date. :)
There is a lot of amaranth down here - mostly made into sweets. It's a
good protein-rich alternative to other grains. I have amaranth cereal
(like granola without the oats) and amaranth atole, in Spanish "atole de amaranto".

Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your experiences with everyone. I stumbled upon your blog via google seach...I absolutely love it. I have been trying to find a recipe for these cookies so if you find anything please post it. I am going to be in Merida next week on a mission trip so I will be looking for that confection stand that you found. I would like to bring a bunch of these back to the states to share with friends and family. Have you had any digestive issues eating things like this while in the Yucatan?

Hola Nicole, De nada y

Hola Nicole,
De nada y gracias! There are many of these confection stands in the market - you will find them. I had no digestive issues eating these - provided I didn't eat too much as they are sweet and rich.

nut cookies

Could they be Pumpkin Seed Tuiles? When I searched for Marzipan Pumpkin Seed Cookies that is what come up. Here is where I saw a recipe for them http://gothamist.com/2008/02/20/pumpkin_seed_tu.php What do you think?

Hi Jeannine, That recipe

Hi Jeannine,
That recipe looks fantastic - yum! Though it has similar ingredients to the disk-like sweet treat with pepitas above (the nougat with pepitas), the tuiles are different because they are baked. The little corn and pepper-shaped marzipans above are very similar to German marzipan, except (I'm pretty sure...) made with pepitas. I'm saving that recipe for the tuiles - thanks for sharing. :)

Merida market is a awesome

Merida market is a awesome place for shopping. The variety of food and other stuff is just amazing. The foodie person like me really go crazy while shopping there.