Dulce de Jicama

Summer days spent in Mexico excited my older sister.  She loves candy.  Candy in all shapes, sizes, flavors and textures.  Visions of hot days spent lounging on my grandmother’s porch stuffing her face with candy and cold Mexican sodas gave her a rush.  In Mexico she would access to all her favorite candy; tamarindo,  dulce de calabaza, dulce de coco, mazapanes or obleas.  As we pulled into my grandmother’s drive way she began her plan.  The plan to raid my father of all his change, for candy.  She was patient, she knew from experience to allow my dad to settle in, greet the family, help him unpack the vehicle,  hang around just long enough until we became a nuisance.  That’s the exact moment she would strike.   My father would quickly rummage through his pocket, hand us a mountain of coins and we were off to the neighborhood store.

With cupped hands we begin our sugar pile, carefully choosing each candy.  The small store was packed with kids rummaging through candy; we paid little attention as we were in our zone.  As we carried our loot to the counter in the excitement, we had forgotten the most important transaction.  Money was to be dealt.  Only thing is, we really hadn’t paid much attention to our father as he explained the value of each coin, before every trip.  The tally was given and we began our weak effort to count change.  We huddled together to brace others from hearing our English conversation,

“Which coins, how many?”

“I don’t know, didn’t you pay attention to dad when he was explaining to us?”

“Did you?”

“Give her all the coins; let her count, how embarrassing.”

So we did, we gave her all the coins.  She quickly counted them and handed us our change.  We happily walked out with our little bags glad the coin situation was handled.   As we walked down the street to my grandmother’s house we suddenly heard,

“Se creían  más que nosotros porque hablan inglés”

You all think you’re better than us because you speak English

I like my father became quickly enraged and was ready to exchange words with the horrible girls.

My sister grabbed my arm and nudged me to walk away.

“What’s wrong? I asked her.  We could take them I thought in my mind.

“It doesn’t matter, they will never understand, we’re different.”

This was the first time I realized we were different. 

While grating the Jicama for this candy I finally understood what she meant. 

We were American candy in Mexico.

How bittersweet, but to this day I still think we could have taken them!  Enjoy! 

Jicama (HICK-ah-mah) often served with a little lime and chile or tossed into a salad for crunch gets the royal treatment today.  Mixed with sugar, coconut and orange juice over low heat gives the jicama time to slowly soak in the sweetness to give you the perfect after dinner treat!    

Dulce de Jicama

by Sweet Life

by Vianney Rodriguez

1 jicama, peeled and grated

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup orange juice

½ cups sugar

1 tsp salt

Candied orange peel

In a medium saucepan combine jicama, coconut, orange juice and salt.  Simmer on low heat until sugar dissolves and orange juice evaporates, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir frequently.  Transfer candy to serving dishes and allow to cool, garnish with candied orange peel. 

Need more jicama? try these great recipes: 

Jicama, Pepinos y Pina con Cacahuates

Ensalada de Jicama, Mango y Pepino

or try making your own






  1. says

    Loved the story Vianney! Glad you had your sister with you. :) I’m a huge fan of jicama but I’ve never had anything like this. I’m pinning it so I can remember to make it next time I can find jicama. For some reason it’s not easy around her. UGH!
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  2. Ana says

    I dont think you could have taken them , you se we are all the SAME! so no mater what, we are the same, so it is not like you would have fought them or something if you knew what it meant at the time, just saying that you could have taken them , that right there says that you feel that you are more, and you are not.
    Thanks for the jicama candy

  3. says

    Really? Jicama sweet? Really?….I’m baffled and feel the need to try it. My daughter’s birthday is Cinco de Mayo…so I think I’ll try it out then. Sorry I have been such a stranger….always intrigued when I visit though.

  4. says

    Inspired to try jicama, and enough to ponder. We’re all different aren’t we? Sometimes that is a painful realisation but when things like that happen (now I’m older) I say to myself, I refuse to be judged. I have a right to be me………..

  5. says

    So I love this recipe…but I think I love the story more…so painful and poignant. What a great treat from one of my favorite bloggers. You always inspire me with your beautiful AND tasty meals. I hope you have a wonderful end to your week. Stay safe and happy. Love from Austin.

  6. says

    Bonnie, you probably could have taken them…and won what in the end after all?
    The victory would have been short lived. Walk with your head up high and every time you’ll know that the right decision was made not to go down to the level of ignorance. I’ve dealt with this for the most part and I do feel somehow victorious.

    Now, it’s time to celebrate with your dulce de jicama. Thank you for such an interesting treat I had never heard of ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  7. says

    I am the same way on my visits to Mexico except I spend dollars at the bakeries… and I hand them my money hoping they are honest as they hand back the change… I speak very little of the language..
    I have not had this treat but you know I would love to try it…

  8. says

    I say all candy is good candy. But honestly, this candy seems way better than American candy. I love jicama and have never seen or heard of it prepared this way! Definitely want to try it out!

  9. says

    I love your story! As an English teacher in the southwest, it was a definite eye-opener. I’m much more accustomed to Mexicans attempting to learn English here in America. It was nice to step back and see the big picture again :) Thank you for this…and for the introduction to a new candy!

  10. says

    What a perfect childhood story. :-) I could totally picture it! I remember my brothers and I saving every spare penny to spend on candy at our little corner store in Canada. :-) Such good memories. :-)

  11. says

    I love the crunchy texture of jicama, and never thought and serving it sweet…what a great treat with coconut flakes. Have a great week ahead :-)

  12. says

    LOL! You totally could have taken those mean girls. It’s so crazy how we remember our childhood as if it were only yesterday. Glad to hear those girls didn’t scare you. Your Dulce de Jicama sounds delicioso!

  13. says

    What a great way to make jicama. Now that I think about it I am pretty sure my son would just gobble this up seeing as how it is a little sweet! I love this recipe girl. Might make it this weekend with my early cinco de mayo dinner (got to do one early so I can post about it! LOL)

  14. says

    Awe, Bonnie, that’s kind of a sad story-for both you & your sister as well as those obviously insecure little girls that probably wished they could speak English like guys. At least you got your delicious Mexican candies though (smile).
    Ooh, and this jicama sounds so good. I’ve never seen it like this. I need to look at the recipe more closely…
    p.s. Oh, and you probably could have taken them;-) Good you didn’t though…

  15. says

    What a cool recipe! I’ve only tried jicama in savory dishes, so this is totally new territory for me. That being said, I bet it tastes amazing! Sounds like it would make for such a nice, refreshing summertime treat.

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