Mazapán, a Mexican Candy was featured in an Art Show

Mazapán is one of three Mexican candies I chose to make and show as art objects (to be eaten) at the collaborative art show, February, 2010 in Houston, Texas,  “The Candy Shop,” The candy shows the meeting of  Latin America with Europe.

 A cousin of marzipan (made with almonds and sugar) which originates in Asia and/or the Middle East, mazapán is distinctly Mexican in that it replaces the almonds with peanuts which are of Latin American origin and adds corn starch which is of course native to Mexico. To maintain the “cacahuate” flavor, it is not cooked.  Once you bite into these, you’ll love the almost peanut butter sweet taste.  Some have called it Ruiz’s pieces!   mazapansml.jpg

This localization of Marzipan is a great example of how adapting, changing and creating something new is a constant in cooking.  It’s the same way with culture in general. So for this art show I wanted to emphasize how making and eating candy is a way of re-making our identity, staying current while deeply rooted.  Below is a view of the art show, an evening of more attentive re-looking, re-assessing and re-enjoying.  The collaborative show featured three visual artists who explored candy as memory, identity and nostalgia.

The recipe, by the way is in ounces by weight.  You won’t believe how straightforward it is to make this yummy candy.

Recipe  (makes 2 dozen candies)

6 ounces  unsalted peeled peanuts

3 ounces confectioner’s sugar

Method

1.  In a food processor, process the ingredients until they form a pliable dough that feels like putty.

2. Roll out the dough to a 1/4″ thickness

3.  Using a round fluted cutter, form the candies and set aside for storage.

They are ready to eat!  Let me know how you like them.

In this picture, the candy was presented as sculpture, part of the art exhibit.  Hmm, yeahhh, eat the art!!

Artists in “The Candy Shop” Eduardo Portillo, André Amaral, Raúl Gonzalez and Adán Medrano

A parting thought:  So why does everyone become happy when sharing candy, food?

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