The Candy Column: Mexican edition


Morgan Fischer

The La Hacienda market opened last November is the place to stock up on all your Mexican food cravings

Remember when you were young and were forced to eat your peas or some other unappealing vegetable before you could have your dessert? Eventually, you start to enjoy that particular food the more you consume it. Mexican candy is similar to that. At first bite, the candy is somewhat odd and distasteful to many Americans. Although, the more you munch into it the more tolerable and pleasant it becomes.

When first walking into La Hacienda Market your eyes will gravitate towards the numerous shelves of candy, although the market has much more than sweets. The owner, Helio Villegas, said that the most sought out item in his shop is the Mexican sweet bread. The entrepreneur also mentioned that he often travels to Lexington to retrieve items in order to restock his store, such as produce and Hispanic beverages.

Villegas isn’t a new resident in North Platte.“I’ve been living in Nebraska for over 23 years,” Villegas said. During that time he opened his first business, the thriving Mexican restaurant: La Hacienda, in 2001. He has since expanded his business by adding an addition to the restaurant.

This Mexican Market is fairly new, first opening its doors to the public during November. Villegas mentioned wanting to set up shop for over five years but was first discouraged because of the lack of Hispanic population in North Platte.

The La Hacienda Market is North of the bricks directly by Ace Hardware. They have a variety of Mexican foods and drinks so make sure to stop by and pick up some unique snacks to challenge your taste buds.

Pulparindo- One way to characterize this zesty candy would be to classify them as somewhat bizarre. Others who I had sample the Pulparindo described it as tasting of “spicy old leather.” Pulparindo are in fact not made out of leather but are actually created out of tamarind pulp. The tamarind tree, native to Africa and Mexico, produces pod-shaped fruit although only the outer layer or “pulp” is edible. This particular candy is then covered in chili powder making it spicy but also moderately sweet.

Bubu Lubu- These milk chocolate bars are similar to your typical Russell Stover candies that appear on every Walgreens shelf when any insignificant holiday rolls around, which oddly is what makes them appealing. Bubu Lubu’s contain a layer of both strawberry jelly and marshmallow filling making them altogether appetizing. This Mexican confection is tasty in itself, but while researching this product I learned they are occasionally eaten frozen.

Mango Revolcado- This particular candy is just another example of Hispanic culture expressing their immense adoration for chili powder. The mango suckers are covered in an extensive amount guajillo chili pepper seasoning and it takes about five minutes to actually reach the mango sweetness. These zesty lollipops also come a variety flavors such as strawberry and watermelon but not without the spice of course. I would consider them as all-around refreshing, that is if you are a fan of anything ranked somewhat hot on the Scoville scale*.
*The Scoville scale measures and ranks the spiciness of peppers.