sweets prepared for the Day of the Dead
Sweets prepared for the Día de Los Muertos, or Halloween. Photo by Maria Pagola, of Ask Maria, in Veracruz

Though some Mexican mercados have stalls specializing in sweets, more typically confections in the mercado area are sold from sidewalk vendors. Maybe a little table will be set up at a street corner, or perhaps a boy will be circulating with a tray of goodies strapped around his neck. As with tamales and breads, many sweets are made in only a small region, so when you enter the mercado area of a city new to you, be sure to be on the lookout for local specialties.

To give you an idea of how diverse the Mexican sweet-scene is, here's a list just of confections spotted in and around various mercado areas:

alegría as sold in plastic bags