Anyone that knows me will tell you that I like spicy food, no matter how hot. As any good Mexican, I was of the idea that anything can be made to taste better if you add some chilies to it, even candy. Oh, how wrong I was.
Today, my wife and I went for a walk at the mall. We stopped for a snack at a typical snack counter, the kind that sells candy, chips, nachos, some fruit--- junk food in general. I hadn't been to one of those places in a long time, since I was a kid. I realized, we Mexicans have gone too far with our obsession for hot food. I kid you not, every single item in that store had either chili powder, or tamarind chili paste, or the most god-awful stuff there is: Lucas--- most things in the store had all three. I'm not talking about a light sprinkling either, almost everything in shop--- peanuts, apples, tamarind, pineapple, mango, Doritos, pistachio nuts--- was served completely submerged in chili sauce, usually after being thoroughly coated with Lucas or chili powder, turning into a bizarre sort of stomach-destroying soup.
[caption id="attachment_560" align="alignright" width="175" caption="We don' need your steenkin' chocolate, gringos, we got Lucas. Yes. That stuff is considered candy here."][/caption]
We also visited a candy shop in which every item in the shop had a chili covered version, including nuts of all kinds, hard candies, soft candies, marshmallows, dried fruit and, yes, even chocolate (even the Aztecs prepared chocolate mixing it with chili peppers instead of milk and sugar). Tamarind pulp mixed with chili was everywhere. For the love of God, tamarind is not candy. Asians have the right idea about tamarind: in Asia, people believed that the tamarind tree poisoned the air around it and that people who fell asleep under the tree would be dragged off to hell by demons.
Mexican candy is awful, it seems every time a Mexican has a snack, it's just an excuse to cram a liter of hot sauce down his throat. Candy is supposed to be sweet and soothing. Here in Mexico, most of it is hot and stings. It will burn your throat and make your eyes water. It will also contain sticky red tamarind that will stain and burn everything it touches, and will refuse to let go of your teeth until you are forced to taste every single last bit. It's usually deceiving, the very first taste of Mexican candy might be pleasant, but it quickly spreads down to your throat and up into your sinuses and refuses to go away, making its presence felt every inch of its way down your digestive tract.
There are a lot of things I love about Mexico, just not the candy. It's terrible.