Monday, June 16, 2008

Sweets from the "Island of Enchantment"

I recently returned from a restful summer vacation in Puerto Rico. Of course, while there I tried to get a feel for the local candy scene. While much of the candy in Puerto Rico is very similar to the offerings here in the States, Walgreens seems to be universal, I did stumble upon a few surprises. For the most part, the local candy reflects the tropical climate of the island incorporating a lot of coconut, guava, mango, and pineapple flavors. The sampler box (pictured above) contains typical PR candy. There are flavored coconut bars like Coconut Ginger, Coconut Pineapple, and Coco-Cream. The coconut bars that I have tried so far are very tasty, but have an unexpected crumbly and dry texture, almost like a cookie.

Sesame seeds also play big role in Puerto Rican candy. I saw them suspended in lollipops and sold in a semi-solid bar state called Ajonjoli. Usually I am a big fan of sesame seed candy, I love the honey sesame seed sticks I get here at home, but the Ajonjoli didn't do much for me. The sesame was in a thick, gooey substance that looked and tasted like tar. Not very appetizing.

I am a big fan of the pilones, or lollipops. I saw pilones in strawberry, cherry, and coconut flavor, but chose a bag that had a coconut pineapple combo. They are delicious! The coconut is rich, creamy, sweet and balances well with the pineapple for a nice pina colada finale.

Pachy's sells authentic Puerto Rican candy online. Visit to see their selection.

No comments: