Melcocha, the best handmade candy of Ecuador!
Do you have “sweet tooth” and would love not only to taste some traditional desserts and sweets while in Ecuador, but to actually taste the best handmade candy there is?
Then let me introduce you to what for me is the absolute best candy you can find in Ecuador, melcocha!
This is a special kind of candy handmade in many places around the country, though it is mostly 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, as well as selling this sweet candy.
What is it made of?
Melcocha is a thick very sweet candy. The sweetness comes from its main ingredient: sugar cane. You can easily find melcocha year-round Ecuador.
How is it produced?
This technique which actually 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 to boil the mixture until it turns into a thick syrup, that is then 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.
You can take a look at the process here:
There are some melcochas with colors some nuts, but otherwise they are made of the same.
There are some other great snacks that you can buy in Ecuador and will be great souvenirs.
Do you want to taste melcochas? Visit a local market or the town of Baños in Ecuador! You will really like them!
Of course in a country with 4 very different regions, with wide biodiversity, there are plenty of other snacks and food that you should taste. I just give you in the following article: 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 you visit the country.
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If you would like to make some of the desserts from South America, the book Dulce: Desserts in the Latin-American Tradition by Joseluis Flores has some amazing recipes. It is well-written book with some of the best dessert recipes in Latin-American cuisine.
Don´t just dream it, make it happen. Plan your South American trip with a local!
Take a look at this list of travel resources to plan your trip and travel in South America.
Daydreaming about your trip to South America? Order here your Free Ebook, I share with you some useful tips & resources for a memorable trip!
You can also send an email to get help planning your trip: info(at) visitecuadorandsouthamerica(dot)com