Everyone Bow Down To The Genius Who Invented The Jicaleta

Hi. You’re familiar with jicama, yes?

Credit: First Look International

If you answered “yes,” chances are you’ve had it prepared with limón, sal and chile (or tajín). Like this:

If you answered “no,” stop whatever you’re doing — take a two-hour lunch, ditch class, quit your job, whatever — and try a lil jicama with salt, lime juice and chile. It’ll change your life.*

*1. Don’t quit your job. Don’t ditch class. A two hour lunch? Why not. 2. OK, it won’t change your life, it just tastes good.

Well, there’s another way to eat jicama. For your consideration: the jicaleta.

Yes, it’s exactly what it looks like. A paleta made out of jicama.

Credit: Jim Coffey / YouTube

The preparation is pretty simple. After the jicama is cut into a paleta shape and put on a stick, the jicaleta is dipped or brushed with chamoy syrup.

Credit: VivaAguasCalientes1 / YouTube

Chamoy syrup is usually made out of pickled fruit, lime juice and chile, which gives it a sweet-and-sour flavor.

Then it’s sprinkled with chamoy powder and chile. The sticky syrup works as an adhesive to keep the powder on the paleta.

Credit: VivaAguasCalientes1 / YouTube

According to a vendor in Mexico called La Autentica Jicaleta, jicaletas were invented in 2000 by the Mercado-Gutierrez family in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The family began selling the jicaletas at the Jardin San Marcos, and they eventually opened up the La Autentica Jicaleta franchise in Mexico.

Jicaletas aren’t just available in one flavor, though.

Here’s a beautiful rainbow of flavors that some vendors offer:

And here’s what it looks like* when someone hooks up a jicaleta.


*I have no idea why the voices in this video sound like Will Ferrell shooting himself in the neck with a tranquilizer dart in the movie “Old School.”

Vendors now sell them in different shapes, like stars…


And whatever you call this:

If you have trouble tracking down a jicaleta vendor, why not try making one at home?

It may not look as pretty, but chances are it’ll taste just as good.

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