Monday, March 28, 2011
Candied Fruit At Estrellita Market -- Mexican Sweets Create A Slice-And-Serve Dessert
The Shell station now offers you a beautiful dessert on top of the tacos.
Estrellita Market has opened on the second floor of the Shell station at U.S. 1 and Rte 175. Literally over the top of R&R Taqueria is a small Mexican market. Nice for spices, tortillas and Mexican basics. But a must-visit spot for candied fruit.
Right at the counter, Estrellita displays "crystalized" fruit. Real fruit, candied to sweetness and a texture that was exotic, yet obviously natural at the same time. Pear becomes creamy and sweet. Orange rind retains a bite and a touch of citrus, but becomes a chewy complex candy.
After my first visit, I sliced a few just for a casual dessert. But the fruit is beautiful enough to become part of something special. On Saturday, Mrs. HowChow baked cookies. (Two kinds! I'm bragging.) She created a dessert plate with cookies, slices of candied oranges, pears and figs, and then Turkish delight from Nazar Market.
That was a display that could compete with a place like Woodberry Kitchen. But Estellita will sell you a bag of candied fruit for under $10. Figs are $1. Oranges, pears, papayas, pineapple and others are $2. For the dessert plate, I sliced the fruit from top to bottom so that they looked like sections. They're intensely sweet, so you can please people with just a slice or two.
Apparently, fruta cristalizada is a year-round treat created by repeatedly submerging the fruit in scalding water and sugar syrup. They lasted a week in my pantry. They look like they would last far longer than that.
above R&R Taqueria and Shell Station
7894 Washington Boulevard
Elkridge, MD 21075
NEAR: This is the second floor of the Shell station at U.S. 1 and Rte 175 at the Elkridge/Jessup border. It is really convenient from I-95. Just exit onto east-bound Rte 175 and turn left at the first light. Then turn into the Shell station.