Monday, March 28, 2011

Candied Fruit At Estrellita Market -- Mexican Sweets Create A Slice-And-Serve Dessert

[Update: Estrellita Market closed in late 2011.]

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.

Estrellita Market
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.


S. said...

hi -- Love your blogs, thank you for maintaining such great resource! Just a quick note (perhaps it's posted elsewhere but we missed it): the Estrellita Market appears to have closed. We stopped by R&R this afternoon, Dec 24,2011, and they told us it has gone out of business.

blith said...

I found the candied fruit at the counter of Tere's Latin Market off Route 40 in a small strip with a Papa John's and a Quiznos, almost directly across from Normandy Shopping Center. It is labelled "The Latin Market" outside and the taqueria in the back is pretty good. I haven't tried R&R yet, so I can't compare, but the tacos and pupusas we've had have been really good. The hot sauce served next to the counter, the reddish sauce, is a little smoky and nicely complex.