The streets of Guanajuato are full of mummies. And if you haven’t seen them, you haven’t really noticed them: not all of them have bandages and they are terrifying, some are sweet and full of colors. That’s right: we mean the charamuscas.
These are typical sweets of the State made of piloncillo boiled in water and modeled with figures of mummies, which, beyond terrifying us, conquer our palate.
Today we bring you its interesting story for you to share in this season of the Day of the Dead.
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Charamuscas: a tradition as old as mummies
This typical sweet did not always have the shape of a mummy: previously they were made as a twisted churro.
Little by little the sweet was taking identity, molding itself with one of the most characteristic elements of Guanajuato and that has captivated national and foreign tourists.
The origin of the charamuscas is not exactly known, however, it is believed that they may have arisen during the second half of the colonial period (1521-1810), when the first sugar producers arrived in New Spain.
Hence the charamusqueros arose: sweet artisans who specialize in this type of creations, skilled in shaping the candy before it hardens.
Since then, they began to prepare this sweet that, to date, is considered a craft that supports many families.
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They weren’t always mummies
Charamuscas are popular all year round, and because of their mummy shape, they are ideal to decorate the altar of the dead, but previously, this sweet was popular during other festivals of the year, before it took the shape of a mummy.
People used to give it away during Holy Week, as it was attributed a religious meaning, which consisted in reducing the suffering of Christ during the Crucifixion.
In this celebration, the charamusca symbolizes the crown of thorns, and it was given to loved ones to remember the delivery of Jesus for sinners.
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What are charamuscas made of?
The piloncillo is the main ingredient of the charamuscas can have other additives, such as butter, walnut, cinnamon or coconut.
Whatever its ingredients, what is valuable about charamuscas is the craftsmanship with which they are made by molding the sweet in detail, to give it different shapes: from crooked churros, diamonds, mummies, mariachis, drunks and even quixotes.
Don’t forget: when you visit Guanajuato, take some charamuscas to keep this centuries-old tradition alive.
Discover more interesting facts about your favorite food in Easy Kitchen and celebrate this season of the Day of the Dead