My Rosca de Reyes Cake and Other Strange Mexican Things

Rosca de Reyes

OK, so a Rosca de Reyes cake is really not very strange, it’s just new to me. This weekend is a festive time in Mexico (long-time readers: You’re learning it’s always a festive time here, aren’t you?) because Jan. 6. is King’s Day (Dia de Reyes), also known as Epiphany. It’s traditionally when Mexican children are given their gifts. One way of celebrating this time of year is to serve a Rosca de Reyes. (Mexico City also serves up a “mega-rosca” and throws a parade.)

The cake is very similar in taste and appearance to a King’s Cake of the Mardi Gras tradition — there’s even little baby Jesuses in the cake. (Note: I got the first baby Jesus, which means I have to invite Brendan over to my house later this month and serve tamales. But there are apparently numerous Jesuses in one cake.)

The purchase of the cake was capped off by a mini-adventure today. First, we went to the Mercado Medellin, a huge indoor fruit and veggie market (and lots of other yummy sundries). We wandered around, not sure what to do or buy, basically overwhelmed. So we found a restaurant, had some lunch, made a gameplan, and went back in. Our plan: to buy fruit you can’t get at the regular grocery store.

This is what we ended up with:

strange mexican fruit

The big fruit in the back is mamey, the small yellow fruits in front of the mamey are guayaba, and the orange fruit and the longish yellow ones on the left, well, I don’t know what they are. I know we bought them from a tienda that specializes in Colombian produce….(They are not persimmons or bananas, trust me.)

With the exception of the mamey, all the fruits were heavy with little seeds, similar to pomegranates, so I’m not quite sure how to eat these. The mamey, while having a nice creamy texture, doesn’t strike me as a fruit you want to eat plain — it needed something, I just don’t know what.

6 thoughts on “My Rosca de Reyes Cake and Other Strange Mexican Things

  1. emily says:

    I am sure that you researched the mamey fruit. This is what I found:

    Although mamey sapote fruit can be eaten raw, popular uses for it include adding it to fruit salads, desserts, milk shakes and other fruit drinks made in a blender. It is also used commercially by some dairy product manufacturers to produce an exotic, tropical flavored ice cream. Because of its interesting taste and texture, the mamey sapote fruit is rapidly gaining in popularity for cooking purposes. Additionally, mamey sapote is high in vitamins A and C as well as in potassium. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber. Regarding caloric content, one cup of mamey sapote contains approximately 135 calories.

    The mamey sapote fruit can be used as a tasty addition to many desserts and drinks. Its appearance in markets and in commercial products will continue to increase because of this fruit’s nutritional benefits and its exotic appeal to chefs.

  2. lupakitty says:

    It’s pretty amazing to read this blog and know what you talking about. My grandparents and mother grew up as farmers in Mexico, so they always talk about all the different fruits and vegetables that are usually only found there. I’m glad to finally see what a mamey fruit is. Thank you so much! :3

    ps. Have you had a type of candy made out of Guayaba that is rolled up and smothered with sugar?

  3. Joy says:

    I am glad you are enjoying my blog Lupa!

    I have tried a few candies — all of them delicious — but I am not sure if I have had that one. Do you know the name of it? And the color? I can look for it the next time I’m at the mercado.

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