Got some very useful email in over the weekend about those Mexican sweets. First this from reader Chuck:
Those things in the glass case are geletinas or gelitines. Mixed flavors with nuts, ect.
Then Mike (an American living in Mexico) chimed in with this:
I’ll take an educated guess and say that the photo of churros was taken in the 24-hr churrería El Moro, in Centro, México [City]. They are, IMO, not very good. The chocolate caliente, though, is something else entirely.
The shiny things in the portable case are unusually elaborate gelatinas. Mexicans love gelatin desserts and snacks. They are required at every kids’ birthday party, for one. Specialty magazines are sold at news stands on how to make gelatinas to impress your family and guests.
The stalactitic towers are cake dummies on the mezzanine level of the famed Pastelería Ideal, probably Mexico City’s largest and most popular bakery. The lower level holds table after table of fresh baked panes dulces, regular breads and cookies, of every variety. Davidlida.com had a blog entry on that bakery.
I won’t try to guess where the cup of hot chocolate was photographed, although it strongly resembles a cup of the Chocolate Español at El Moro. I once got a cup of that and it was so thick and intense that my knees were trembling before i got halfway through. But it was delicious.
Right on all counts, Mike! But that’s very interesting stuff. I guess I never quite realized how popular gelatin desserts are in Mexico. However now a celebrity gelatin artist like Lourdes Reyes Rosas (whose work I have marveled at) really makes sense. Lord, I’m thick. Thanks Mike!
Lastly Warren, who lives in the South Pacific, had this to say about those big tiered cakes:
The icing on the wedding cakes in the shop window in Mexico is common as a decoration, I’ve done it for Samoan and Rarotongan wedding cakes, they like the icicle effect of it, it’s a slightly runny icing let flow over the cake board and quickly guided to make the shape. No, I’m not doing it here, the 30*C temp in my house means nothing sets.
I’d still like to know what that icing is made of. I’m intuiting that it’s a simple sugar icing of some sort, yes? Many thanks to everyone who took the time to write in!