Melcocha, the best handmade candy in Ecuador!
Do you have a “sweet tooth” and would love to taste some traditional desserts and treat while in Ecuador?
Today we want to share the best handmade candy there is in Ecuador.
What is melcocha
Melcocha is a special kind of candy handmade in many places around the country, though it is mainly produced in the small town of Baños in the highlands of Ecuador.
In this small town, also known for a wide range of activities related to adventure tourism, you can find plenty of small stores and vendors all around, making and selling this sweet candy.
What is it made of?
Melcocha is a thick, delightful candy. The sweetness comes from its main ingredient: sugar cane. You can easily find melcocha year-round in Ecuador.
How is it produced?
This technique which requires a lot of practice but mostly arm strength starts by squeezing the sugar cane. The next step is to add the vegetable slime of the Guacimo Tree to this liquid extracted from the sugar cane. Then boil the mixture until it turns into a thick syrup, placed on a plate.
This is, let’s say, the easy part of the process, as the real work begins once you have to shape the melcocha.
The chunk of warm sugar cane is placed in a wall, as the picture above shows, and then kneaded several times until the consistency is right. This means getting it dry enough to break it.
What do they taste like
The traditional or most popular option of melcocha is the one in the picture below, dark yellow and made from sugar cane.
There are some melcocha options. You will find there are some with different colors, and the flavor varies as with candy. There are even some options that include nuts.
Where to buy them
If you are going to the town of Baños in Ecuador, make sure to taste some melcocha. That is the main place in the country to taste them.
Nowadays, you can also find melcochas in some small stores, supermarkets, and sometimes small street vendors.
Of course, in a country with four very different regions, with vast biodiversity, there are plenty of other snacks and food that you should taste.
Here are Some of the best snack souvenirs to get on your visit to Ecuador – South America; 5 of the tastiest snacks you can easily buy and taste while visiting the country.
Have you tried melcocha before?
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If you want to make desserts from South America, the book Dulce: Desserts in the Latin-American Tradition by Joseluis Flores has some fantastic recipes. It is a well-written book with some of the best dessert recipes in Latin-American cuisine.
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