Top tasty Mexican-inspired snacks

If you’re a food lover who has not tried their hands on Mexican food yet, here’s your chance to attempt some of the easiest and most delicious of appetizers that come from the exotic land that is Mexico.

Fruit Salad

Mexicans are great snackers on fruit, as the iconic and ubiquitous dish known as Fruit Pico de Gallo shows. To make it like it is served by street vendors there: cut spears of barely-ripe fresh fruits/vegetables (try two or more of the following: watermelon, cantaloupe, jicama, cucumber, mango, pineapple, coconut, papaya) and place them, standing up, in a disposable cup. Add salt and/or powdered Piquin chile pepper to taste, then squeeze fresh lime juice over it all. Eat with your fingers or a fork. Super refreshing!

Seeds and Nuts

Little packets of seeds and/or nuts are sold on almost every street corner in Mexico. Take a clue from these vendors and roast some pumpkin seeds to keep in a jar for your next snack attack, or try candied peanuts (cacahuatate garapiñado), which are similar in concept to Boston baked bean nuts. Sunflower seeds, roasted garbanzo or fava beans, and sugared almonds are other possibilities. Or how about some mixed nuts, with or without peanuts, sprinkled with salt, powdered chili pepper, and fresh-squeezed lime juice?

Keto Tortilla Chips

These keto tortilla chips are an easy replacement to corn tortilla chips, with only six keto-friendly ingredients. They are packed with finger-licking flavor, which is exactly what you want in a good chip.

Ate With Cheese (Ate con Queso)

Ate, as it is known in Mexico, is a paste made of fruit (commonly guava or quince) that is enjoyed in many parts of Latin America as an appetizer, dessert, or snack. It is known as guava paste in some other countries. It can often be found either in cans or packaged in plastic in Hispanic grocery stores or the international aisle at your supermarket.

Marie Cookies

Whether you call them galletas Maria, Marie biscuits, or Maria cookies, these unassuming little wafers are a staple in many a Latin American pantry. Thin, flat, and only slightly sweet, they are great alone or spread with peanut butter and/or jelly. A slightly more sophisticated topping would be a slice of cheese and a thin slice of guava paste or quince paste. But perhaps their greatest moment comes when dunked into a glass of milk or a cup of hot chocolate or coffee.

Gelatin

Gelatin is big in Mexico, beloved by people of all ages. It is definitely a dessert acceptable for any but the most elegant of meals, and many different varieties are available from street peddlers for casual snacking: plain, made with milk instead of water, containing fruit and/or nuts, etc. Gelatin is always a sweet dessert or snack in that country, never a “salad” as it is often considered in many parts of the United States.

Of course, nowadays gelatin is easy to find at the store ready-made and in individual servings, but it’s also really easy to make at home. Have some simple plain gelatin squares ready for your next after school snack, or make some with fruit in it—just be sure to stay away from these fresh fruits, which contain an enzyme that won’t allow the gelatin the set. For something slightly more exotic, try your hand at the flamboyant Mosaic Jell-O or easy-to-make Japanese Coffee Jelly.

Nachos

This Tex-Mex classic works wonderfully as a hearty snack. Make some ingredient-rich Nachos With Toppings, or keep it simple and spread some tortilla chips in a single layer on a plate, top with shredded cheese, and microwave in 15-second increments until cheese is melted.

Corn Griddle Cakes (Gorditas de la Villa)

They look a little like silver dollar pancakes, but these slightly sweet goodies are made with corn masa and brown sugar. Eat your corn griddle cakes plain, spread them with jam, or dip them into a little syrup or sweetened condensed milk. They are best when eaten freshly made and warm, so plan to make these when you have a little time to dawdle over your snack.

Salsa and Chips

If you are craving a bracing, salty snack, you can’t go wrong with salsa and chips. Your only problem will be choosing which salsa and what “chips” to choose!

Salsa in Spanish just means “sauce,” and Mexican cuisine is chock full of many different kinds of table and cooking sauces. There is, of course, your basic simple chopped fresh salsa, which is known and loved in Mexican restaurants all over the world.