The Day of the Dead and La Feria del Alfeñique, 2011
For a more recent post about the Day of the Dead in Mexico, please click here.
The Feria del Alfeñique in central Toluca, a five-minute walk from my apartment. November 2011
The Day of the Dead takes place on Nov. 2nd. It’s a celebration where Mexicans remember their dead relatives by placing a shrine in their homes full of fruit, sweets, and sometimes booze. If Grandpa used to like a special tequila or whiskey, then in the shrine it goes – along with Grandma’s favorite snacks and candies.
The month before the Day of the Dead about a hundred vendors set up in the Portales and sell all things related to the holiday. This is the Feria del Alfeñique, a great way to sample cool, strange Mexican candies. Even if they look a little weird, they are still covered in sugar and will probably taste good.
It seems like anything can be candied. The green things on the right in the picture below are candied nopales, large cactus leaves:
Here are limones stuffed with coconut. You eat the whole thing:
There’s quite a bit of variety in the stands. You can buy candy by the kilo:
This stuff is good:
And of course don’t forget the sugar skulls:
Notice the chocolate bones on the left:
The stands run through all three sides of the portales. You can spend plenty of time checking out each stand, sampling the odd things and getting a good stomachache.
In Toluca the month before the Day of the Dead you can get a taste, literally, of the tradition right here in the center of town.