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.
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.
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.