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Mexican Chocolate Candy Explained

Chocolate has a long and storied history that spans cultures and centuries, but Mexican chocolate stands out as a unique and cherished variety that captivates taste buds and hearts alike. From its ancient origins to its modern applications, Mexican chocolate is a testament to the country’s rich culinary heritage. In this article we discuss the origins of Mexican chocolate before looking at the key characteristics of Mexican chococolate that make it unique. We then review modern day Mexican chocolate candy brands, before looking into some of the most popular flavor profiles such as strawberry chocolate, vanilla chocolate, and chocolate marshmallows. As we draw to a conclusion we will then summarise some ‘mexican chocolate candy ideas’ where mexican chocolate candy recipes can deliver some sweet indulgence.

Mexican Chocolate Candy Origin

The story of Mexican chocolate begins in the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica, where cacao beans were revered as a divine gift. The Mayans and Aztecs regarded cacao as sacred and used it to prepare a frothy, bitter beverage often flavored with spices and honey. This concoction, known as “xocolātl,” was believed to possess spiritual, medicinal, and aphrodisiac properties.

Key Characteristics of Mexican Chocolate

In Mexico, one of the most popular and iconic types of chocolate is known as “Mexican chocolate” or “chocolate de mesa.” This type of chocolate is typically used to prepare traditional Mexican hot chocolate, which is enjoyed throughout the country. Mexican chocolate is known for its unique flavor and texture, which sets it apart from other types of chocolate.

Here are some key characteristics of Mexican chocolate:

  1. Texture: Mexican chocolate is often sold in round or hexagonal tablets. It has a gritty and coarse texture, which is a result of the traditional chocolate-making process that includes grinding roasted cacao beans with sugar and spices.
  2. Flavor: Mexican chocolate is flavored with spices, most notably cinnamon. Some variations also include ingredients like vanilla, almonds, or chili peppers. The addition of these spices gives Mexican chocolate its distinctive taste, which is both sweet and slightly spicy.
  3. Preparation: Mexican chocolate is commonly used to make hot chocolate. It is grated or chopped into small pieces and then dissolved in hot milk or water. The resulting beverage is frothy and rich, with a delightful blend of sweet and savory flavors.
  4. Traditional Tools: To prepare Mexican hot chocolate, a special tool called a “molinillo” is often used. This wooden whisk is twirled between the palms of the hands to create froth in the hot chocolate.
  5. Usage: Mexican chocolate is not limited to hot chocolate; it is also used in various traditional Mexican recipes, including mole sauces and desserts.

While Mexican chocolate is a beloved tradition in Mexico, there are also other types of chocolate available in the country, including international chocolate brands and artisanal chocolates that cater to various tastes and preferences. However, Mexican chocolate remains a cultural and culinary treasure in Mexico.

Modern Day Mexican Chocolate Candy Brands

Mexican modern day chocolate candy brands embrace Mexican chocolate and are revered for their taste. The top 4 most popular chocolate brands in Mexico:

  1. Abuelita: As mentioned earlier, Abuelita is one of the most iconic and beloved chocolate brands in Mexico. Known for its distinctive flavor, which includes cinnamon and spices, Abuelita is primarily used to prepare traditional Mexican hot chocolate. Its packaging often features an image of an elderly Mexican woman (abuelita), evoking a sense of nostalgia and family warmth.
  2. Ibarra: Ibarra is another well-known Mexican chocolate brand famous for its Mexican-style chocolate tablets. Similar to Abuelita, Ibarra chocolate is often used for making hot chocolate. It has a slightly gritty texture and is flavored with cinnamon and other spices. Ibarra is recognized for its round, yellow packaging.
  3. La Soledad: La Soledad is a Mexican chocolate brand that offers a range of chocolate products, including tablets, chocolate bars, and hot cocoa mixes. They use high-quality cacao and traditional Mexican recipes to create their chocolates. La Soledad is known for its commitment to preserving traditional chocolate-making methods.
  4. Carlos V: Carlos V is a Mexican chocolate brand owned by Nestlé. It is known for its smooth and creamy milk chocolate bars. Carlos V chocolates are a popular choice for snacking and for use in recipes that require milk chocolate.

These brands offer a wide range of chocolate products, from traditional Mexican hot chocolate to chocolate bars and confections. While Abuelita and Ibarra are particularly famous for their role in Mexican hot chocolate, other brands like La Soledad, and Carlos V cater to different chocolate preferences and uses, making them popular choices among consumers in Mexico.

The table below highlights some of the key differences among popular Mexican chocolate brands, including common products, a brief history, and their growth in popularity:

BrandCommon ProductsHistoryGrowth in Popularity
Abuelita (Nestlé)– Chocolate tablets for hot chocolate – Instant hot chocolate mix – Chocolate syrup– Introduced by Nestlé in 1939 – Named “Abuelita” to evoke a sense of tradition– Abuelita is an iconic brand and a staple in Mexican households – Widely recognized and available internationally
Ibarra– Round chocolate tablets for hot chocolate – Instant hot chocolate mix – Chocolate bars– Founded in Jalisco, Mexico, in 1925 – Specializes in Mexican-style chocolate– Ibarra is well-known for its distinctive packaging and flavor – Popular choice for making traditional Mexican hot chocolate
La Soledad– Chocolate tablets – Chocolate bars– Founded in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2012 – Committed to preserving traditional chocolate-making– La Soledad has gained recognition for its artisanal approach – Growing popularity among those seeking authentic Mexican chocolate
Nestlé Chocolate– Chocolate bars – Chocolate chips – Baking chocolate– Nestlé has been a prominent presence in Mexico for decades– Nestlé offers a wide range of chocolate products – Trusted and widely available in Mexico and globally
Carlos V (Nestlé)– Creamy milk chocolate bars – Chocolate-filled wafers– Introduced by Nestlé in 1970 – Named after Holy Roman Emperor Charles V– Carlos V is a popular choice for milk chocolate lovers – Recognized for its smooth and creamy texture

Please note that while these brands offer various chocolate products, their growth in popularity is based on their unique characteristics, traditional recipes, and recognition within Mexico and, in some cases, internationally. Popularity can obviously vary by region and personal preferences.

Vanilla Flavoured Chocolate

While vanilla-flavored chocolate is not as common as other chocolate varieties in Mexico, it is still available and enjoyed by those who appreciate its unique flavor. In Mexico, the focus is often on the rich and complex flavors of traditional Mexican chocolate candy, which includes ingredients like cinnamon, spices, and sometimes chili powder.

However, vanilla-flavored chocolate does exist and can be found in some Mexican chocolate candy products and desserts. Here are a few ways in which vanilla and chocolate are combined in Mexican cuisine:

  1. Vanilla Hot Chocolate: Some hot chocolate recipes in Mexico may include a hint of vanilla for added sweetness and aroma. Vanilla can complement the richness of chocolate and create a delightful flavor balance.
  2. Chocolate Bars with Vanilla: Some Mexican chocolate bars or tablets may include vanilla as an additional flavoring alongside traditional spices like cinnamon. These chocolate products offer a unique combination of flavors.
  3. Vanilla-Infused Desserts: While not exclusively chocolate, vanilla-infused desserts like flan or tres leches cake are popular in Mexico and may occasionally incorporate chocolate components or garnishes.
  4. Vanilla-Chocolate Cookies: Some Mexican cookies or dessert recipes combine the flavors of chocolate and vanilla for a delightful contrast. These cookies may include chocolate chips or chunks along with vanilla extract.

It’s worth noting that vanilla is a highly valued flavoring in Mexican cuisine, and pure vanilla extract is often used in various recipes. While vanilla-flavored chocolate may not be as prevalent as other chocolate varieties, it is still enjoyed by those who appreciate the combination of these two classic flavors.

Strawberry Chocolate

Strawberry chocolate is popular in Mexico, especially in the form of chocolate-covered strawberries. Chocolate-covered strawberries are a delicious and visually appealing treat that combines the sweetness of ripe strawberries with the rich flavor of chocolate.

These mexican chocolate candy treats are commonly enjoyed on various occasions, including Valentine’s Day, weddings, birthdays, and other special events. They are often available in chocolate shops, bakeries, and confectionery stores throughout Mexico. Chocolate-covered strawberries can be found in different variations, including dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate coatings, allowing people to choose their preferred flavor.

In addition to chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry-flavored chocolates and desserts are also enjoyed in Mexico. Strawberry-infused chocolates and truffles are available from chocolatiers and chocolate shops, adding a fruity and sweet twist to traditional chocolate offerings.

The combination of strawberries and chocolate is appreciated for its balance of tartness and sweetness, making it a popular choice among those with a sweet tooth in Mexico and around the world.

Chocolate Marshmallows

Chocolate marshmallows, also known as “malvaviscos con chocolate,” are enjoyed in Mexico as well. These delightful treats combine the soft and fluffy texture of marshmallows with a coating of rich mexican chocolate candy, creating a sweet and satisfying confection.

Chocolate-covered marshmallows can be found in various forms, including:

  1. Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Bars: These treats consist of marshmallow cubes or rectangles coated in a layer of chocolate. They are often sold in packages and make for a convenient and indulgent snack.
  2. Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Pops: Marshmallow pops, also known as “paletas de malvavisco,” are marshmallows skewered on sticks and dipped in chocolate. They may also be decorated with colorful sprinkles, nuts, or other toppings.
  3. Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallow Cones: Another variation involves marshmallow-filled cones or cups that are dipped in chocolate. These are often served during special occasions or celebrations.
  4. Homemade Creations: Some people enjoy making chocolate-covered marshmallows at home, customizing them with their preferred types of chocolate and toppings.

Mexican chocolate candy marshmallows are often sold in candy stores, sweet shops, and confectionery stands. They are a favorite among children and adults alike and are frequently enjoyed as a treat during festive occasions, parties, or as an indulgent dessert. The combination of the soft, pillowy marshmallow and the smooth chocolate coating is a delightful and satisfying contrast in flavors and textures.

Mexican Chocolate Candy Cookies

Chocolate cookies are popular in Mexico, just as they are in many parts of the world. Chocolate chip cookies, in particular, have a broad appeal and are enjoyed by people of all ages in Mexico. They can be found in bakeries, supermarkets, and coffee shops across the country.

Mexican Chocolate candy cookies come in various forms and flavors in Mexico, and they often incorporate traditional Mexican ingredients and flavors. Some variations of chocolate cookies that you might encounter in Mexico include:

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies: Classic chocolate chip cookies made with chocolate chips or chunks are widely available and popular among both locals and tourists.
  2. Mexican Chocolate Cookies: These cookies are infused with the flavors of Mexican chocolate, which typically includes cinnamon and sometimes chili powder. The result is a cookie with a hint of spiciness and warmth.
  3. Chocolate Alfajores: Alfajores are a type of sandwich cookie often filled with dulce de leche. Some variations include a chocolate-flavored cookie, which adds a delightful cocoa element to the sweet filling.
  4. Oaxacan Chocolate Cookies: Inspired by the famous chocolate from Oaxaca, these cookies incorporate the rich and complex flavors of Oaxacan chocolate into the cookie dough.
  5. Choco Flan Cookies: These cookies are inspired by the popular Mexican dessert called “chocoflan” (a combination of chocolate cake and flan). They typically have a layer of chocolate cookie on the bottom and a flan-like layer on top.
  6. Mole Cookies: Some creative bakers in Mexico have developed cookies inspired by mole, a complex and savory Mexican sauce. These cookies may incorporate the spices and flavors found in mole.

Chocolate cookies are enjoyed as a snack, dessert, or treat for special occasions in Mexico. They complement the country’s rich tradition of chocolate and contribute to the diversity of sweet treats available to residents and visitors alike.

Mexican Chocolate Candy Ideas

Mexican chocolate candy can add a delightful twist to a variety of recipes. Here are some recipe ideas that incorporate Mexican chocolate candy:

  1. Mexican Chocolate Brownies:
  • Use crushed Mexican chocolate candies as a topping or mix them into the brownie batter for a rich and spicy kick.
  1. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries with a Twist:
  • Dip fresh strawberries in melted Mexican chocolate candy for a unique and flavorful take on chocolate-covered strawberries.
  1. Mexican Chocolate Milkshake:
  • Blend Mexican chocolate candy, vanilla ice cream, milk, and a touch of cinnamon for a creamy and indulgent milkshake.
  1. Spicy Hot Chocolate:
  • Make traditional Mexican hot chocolate by melting Mexican chocolate candies in hot milk or water, adding a pinch of chili powder for extra heat.
  1. Chocolate Bark with Mexican Flair:
  • Melt Mexican chocolate candies and spread them over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with crushed nuts, dried chili flakes, and sea salt for a sweet and spicy chocolate bark.
  1. Mexican Chocolate Popsicles:
  • Create homemade popsicles by mixing melted Mexican chocolate candies with milk, a dash of cinnamon, and a hint of vanilla extract. Freeze in popsicle molds for a refreshing treat.
  1. Mexican Chocolate Truffles:
  • Combine finely chopped Mexican chocolate candies with heavy cream, roll the mixture into balls, and coat them in cocoa powder or crushed nuts for decadent truffles.
  1. Chocolate Tamales:
  • Incorporate grated Mexican chocolate candies into the masa (dough) for sweet chocolate tamales. Steam them in corn husks for a unique dessert tamale.
  1. Churros with Mexican Chocolate Dipping Sauce:
  • Serve freshly fried churros with a warm dipping sauce made by melting Mexican chocolate candies with a bit of cream and a pinch of cinnamon.
  1. Chocolate-Covered Pretzels:
    • Dip pretzel rods or twists in melted Mexican chocolate candies and let them set before enjoying the sweet and salty combination.

Remember to adjust the level of spiciness to your preference when using Mexican chocolate candies in these recipes. Whether you’re making desserts, beverages, or snacks, Mexican chocolate candy can add a delightful and distinctive flavor profile to your creations.


Mexican chocolate candy in this article has proven it has great utility. From being consumed by on its own to being infused with other flavors, it has proven to be a popular source of indulgence. It is often said that you cannot go wrong with chocolate and so Mexican chocolate has proven no different.

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