Morelia, the capital of the state of Michoacan, is also known for the richness of their sweets and desserts.
The Sweets Museum is a pleasant surprise and one I highly recommend you visit if you go to Morelia. It is situated in a 19th century mansion which belongs to an old Morelian family who has been involved in the production of sweets for decades. They are very proud of their past, still keeping old recipe books and old photographs that show their heritage. To preserve it, along with the family business, they decided to create a museum to explain the history of the production of these famous sweets.
When you arrive it is like you went back in time. All the staff, including the guides are dressed in 19th century period clothes. The tour is included in the entrance fee and I strongly recommend it.
First you are shown the family vintage photo collection of old Morelia that goes back two centuries while they give you a short historical explanation.
Then you watch a small video that explains the origin of the sweet production in Morelia. It tells you how the factory and shop were created and still follow the original recipes. They also take pride in having been able to rescue ancient recipes, some of which trace their roots back to pre-colonial times.
After the movie you are shown small scale models of how the production of sweets evolved through time. How the Spaniards adapted indigenous recipes by adding to it with products they brought to Mexico, like the sugar cane for example. It was first in the Spanish convents through the work of the nuns that different recipes started to be developed. This art later spread to the homes where some Morelian families developed it into a commercial endeavour. They established factories and shops that took the production of the sweets industry in Morelia to another level.
The museum keeps a beautiful collection of old machinery used in the production of sweets. The copper pots helped distribute the heat uniformly and copper is still considered today to be an excellent heat conductor in the production of sweets. Copper pots continue to be used today by many to make jam, including me!
Finally, they take you to the old colonial kitchen where they make a demonstration of how to make “ate”, a specialty of Morelia. Ate can be made with different fruits but this particular one is made with quinces.
She uses a copper pan and explains how you cut the fruit and get the pulp.
Next you start by mixing the pulp with the sugar
And you mix constantly until you get the perfect consistency. This is when the mixture starts coming off the sides and no longer drips from the spoon.
You finally get to the final result and we can all taste the wonderful ate!
These are just some of the shapes you can give to the ate.
I loved the details in the colonial kitchen
After the tour you can explore all the goodies in the shop. You can also stop at their cozy back patio coffee shop where you can choose from a delicious selection of cakes, house-made hot chocolates and also freshly made ice creams.
One of the last images you see is of this old transport cart, a remnant of the past…
Museo del Dulce
Av. Madero Oriente nº 440, Centro Historico
Sunday to Monday 10.00 am to 18.30 pm
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- The beautiful Morelia
- The Procession of Silence in Morelia
- Old Men’s dance in Michoacan
- The Monarch butterfly