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Saladitos are dried, salted , which can also be sweetened with sugar and anise or coated in chili and lime. A common misconception is that saladitos and chamoy are the same thing; saladitos are made from dried plums whereas chamoy are made from dried apricots.
Saladitos are considered a candy in Mexico, though they originate from China. In Mandarin, the name for saladitos is Suan-Mei, literally "sour plum." A common method of eating saladitos is to stuff a few of them into an orange or lemon and then suck the salted juice out, while allowing the saladito to rehydrate. Once all the juice is eaten, the saladitos are eaten and the pits discarded. Another method is to eat the saladito without any fruit, and discard the pit, or first rinse the saladito with water, and then eat it plain.
On some occasions, to spice up drinks, a few saladitos are put at the bottom of drinks like Sprite, ginger ale or beer. Once the saladito is placed in the soda, bubbles will begin to rise immediately. In Taiwan, a popular plum drink is made by soaking several saladitos in a pitcher of water until the plum rehydrates and flavors the water.
Although they can still be found in stores, many were recalled in October 2009 due to dangerous levels of lead.
A list of products and product photographs are available online at: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/foods/plumproductsNew.shtm
- "Consumers Warned Not to Eat Certain Imported Dried Plums". October 1, 2009.
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