Sweet & Spicy Flavors of the Dulceria

An array of fruta cristalizada

My article, “Sweet & Spicy Flavors of the Dulceria” is up in my column, Que Rico in the Watsonville Patch. It’s funny; although I greatly limit my ingestion of sugar, the Vargas dulceria (at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Flea Market) reeled me in with the beautiful colors of their candied fruits, and the scents of roasted peanuts and almonds. It’s a popular stand, and I can see why. I love that they fry their own sweet potato chips, too.

Candied figs and sweet potatoes

I enjoyed talking to Carlos Perez, as he recounted how he has carried on in the business after his father, who operated approx. 20 dulceria booths in Oaxaca. It was clear that the dulceria stand was a family enterprise–everyone working hard, the younger kids learning how to handle money and work with customers.

Heavy gloves are ready to put on when the roasters open the hot oven to shovel out the nuts.

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