Some call it the Ultimate Bad Candy. Here is a fond recollection of a first encounter with one of the world's most complete source of sodium:
- Time stopped.
My tongue instantaneously wilted, and my eyes began to water. I made two feeble attempts to bite through the brittle, brine-encrusted outer layers before my survival instincts kicked in, causing my jaw to lock open and the (saladito) to involuntarily fall out of my mouth and down the drain, accompanied by a large volume of drool. While I was regaining conscience, Ben realized that it was his journalistic duty to also try (one). Before I could stop him, the fool popped a (saladito) in his mouth, and just as quickly, it popped back out.
We have since "taste tested" saladitos on several of our friends and co-workers, and the results are consistent with our own experiences. We've yet the see anyone actually swallow a (saladito). Oh sure, many have tried. But all have failed. The legacy continues... you have been warned.
Ay corazon! Some people are weirded out by sweet and spicy. For those with a bolder side, saladitos are perfect for gettin' a snack on! We're lucky to live in a community that shares a great deal of cultural heritages. Saladito, meaning "little salty one," is a candy whose origins come from Mexico and are sold at the local Circle K and in most places here in the Southwestern United States. While some are just salted others are suspended in an amber colored candy, many times strawberry flavored, like a lollipop that is both sweet and spicy. Children stop by the Circle K and dig them out of large cookie jars kept on the counter, fetch a dime out of their pocket and enjoy them on their walk home from school. They're made from sweet plums that have been dried, salted, and sometimes coated with chili powder for a one of a kind taste adventure. Once you get started eating these, you'll want to stop but won't be able to, they're habit forming! In the local grocery stores they are sold in small plastic bags of about a half dozen of dried up brown giant raisin looking things.
Also called El Sabroso! or The Tasty One! They are never eaten whole as described on the scenario above. The flavor is supposed to be savored in the extreme and is technically a snack food imported from Mexico. Only for the brave they're delcioso in the summertime! Did I mention invigorating? It's understandable why they are so popular as a snack for replenishing lost salt in the body from the extreme desert heat. Sometimes a spicy volcanic glow is all that's needed for clearing the head and a quick cool down after a scorching hot day.
How to enjoy a saladito:
- Sleep late.
- Play a few games like la roa or policias y rateros.
- Don't drink anything that comes out of an air conditioner.
- Search for screaming banded geckos in the rocks.
- Look for jumping beans.
- Find a nice cool breeze under a neighbor's lemon tree.
- If you don't see any lemon trees an orange tree will do.
- Pick a fruit for you and your friend to share.
- Carefully cut it in half and squish a saladito down into the center of each half.
- Savor them by quickly licking the saladito in the center and across the fruit.
- Look for shapes in the clouds.
- Make up stories for about the weeping woman who drowned her children and searches the desert arroyos for them.
- Yoolia! ! Get home before dark avoiding the washes along the way.
If you'd like to order some you can find them online at Rollin'Low: http://store.yahoo.com/rollinlow/mexcancol4.html Truly delicious, saladitos are Mexico's great legacy, Hijole!