28 Oct 2010, Posted by admin in MEET, 1 Comments
All Día de los Muertos candy is not created equal. If you’ve ever actually tasted one of those sugar skulls, you already know that. Yes, they’re awfully cute in that Gene Simmons sort of way, but sugar + cornstarch = not terribly tasty. La Zamorana, owned by third generation candy makers, is the place to go for traditional fresh calabaza (pumpkin squash) and camote (sweet potato) candy.
Actually, you can’t walk into the tiny East L.A. factory unless you’re a wholesaler, but you can find their products at Mexican markets throughout California, Arizona and a handful of other places scattered throughout the U.S. They make other traditional Mexican sweets, like jamoncillo (milk fudge), on homemade equipment (that guitar-string slicer at right with adjustable tuning pegs *was* pretty brilliant).
But as it is squash and sweet potato season, we were talking about that calabaza and camote. After four dunks in boiling simple syrup the vegetables turn into gummy-like candies in brilliant hues. It’s a pretty remarkable transformation that will forever have you thinking twice before eating that gummy bear. The rest of the story on the Mendez family is in today’s Los Angeles Times.