Featured Ingredient — By Ben on 25 September 2009
Cajeta

Cajeta

When I was a kid I loved the road trips our family used to take several times a year. My favorite destination was the beach, but I also loved visiting the colonial states in the interior of the country. I think my love for history was born in those trips; visiting cities and towns founded by the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th and 17th centuries. Walking the narrow cobbled streets and alleys, visiting the local plazas with their municipal palaces and churches, appreciating the local architecture and craft work and eating in the local markets and cafes is an experience that I recommend to anybody thinking about visiting Mexico.

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One such city that I remember particularly well is Celaya, in the state of Guanajuato. Celaya is a small colonial city, about 300,000 inhabitants, that is famous for its cajeta (ka-he-ta). This Mexican confection is made by thickening sweetened  milk. The difference between cajeta and dulce de leche is that cajeta is made with goat’s milk. Cajeta can also contain vanilla and wine (cajeta envinada, my favorite for obvious reasons) that makes it even more flavorful.

Cajeta

In Celaya, cajeta is produced and sold by many small shops. One can buy small jars or whole boxes of the stuff. But my favorite part about visiting the capital of cajeta was tasting all the different flavors of cajeta (coconut, wine, peacans, etc.) and all the sweets made with it, lollipops, turnovers, stuffed croissants, jellos, flans, cakes, crepes, ice creams… I am getting a craving just by thinking about it. There are many ways you can use cajeta, in the future I’ll post some recipes, but you can always enjoy it just spread on toast, over ice cream or even as a sweetener for your coffe (I am enjoying that right now). If you see this sweet stuff in your next grocery trip, give it a try (the envinada version is amazing). You are going to love it.

Cajeta

¡Buen provecho!

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(24) Readers Comments

  1. I've never tried cajeta envinada, but now I want to! I want to visit the cajeta capital too. Sounds like a delicious city.

  2. Cajeta must taste wonderful! Thanks for sharing your memories!

    That last picture is devilishly beautiful!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Yummy! I would love to try it…

  4. Mmmmm, drizzle it on anything and pass it over. Sounds delicious.

  5. First time I've heard of cajeta and it definitely sounds better than dulce de leche. Your photos are amazing Ben.

  6. It's amazing how something so simple can look so delicious! Gorgeous photos Ben!

  7. My favorite is Cajeta Quemada, yummy. I tried to always have a bottle with me. It is sooooo good. Can't wait to see some recipes with this stuff.

  8. That looks like something I would like to try. I've never seen a bottle of Cajeta before.

  9. Cajeta is so good! I used to keep a bottle around for all sorts of little treats, but haven't bought it in a while. Now I want some.

  10. Zingerman's, here in Ann Arbor, makes cajeta gelato from time to time and it's C's absolute favorite. I'd love to learn to make it!

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