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Ica’s Sweet: Tejas And Chocotejas

Someplace in Ica’s past, its emblematic sweet, the teja, was created. These handmade, mouth-sized candies are balls of manjar blanca (soft caramel) with fruits or nuts covered with a white fondant sugar coating. In the 1950s, a variation on this theme emerged: the chocoteja, in which the filling is bathed in chocolate.

White tejas traditionally have pecans, coconut, fig, güinda (sour cherry), pasas borrachas (raisins soaked in pisco) or candied citrus rind like lemon, orange or grapefruit. Chocotejas are crafted with any of these, or castañas (Brazil nuts) or lúcuma (a native tropical fruit).

The name comes from the sweet’s roof-tile shape. In Ica, many small shops making these delicious treats invite visitors to see how it’s all made. Be sure to pick up a box of them, because they’re hard to find in other parts of the country.

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