Usually, when someone brings you back a souvenir from their vacation, it's a cheesy t-shirt or small creature made from shells or snowglobe or something.
But not Diane, who you may know as the hottie who drives the truck called Street Treats in Seattle. When she recently took a Mexican getaway, she not only thought of me when she tried a local specialty called Ate, but she brought me back a big sack of this sweet stuff.
What is Ate? First off, let's make sure you're pronouncing it right. It's "ah-tay", so basically say "latte" but take off the L.
As to what it is, it's fairly simple: dried fruit paste coated in sugar. Kind of like real-fruit gumdrops. While it appears that quince is a popular variety, the bag Diane brought me has a mix of (if I translated it right) quince, guava, apple, and Mexican Hawthorn and peach (thanks Adela). The candies are lightly crunchy on the outside but tender on the inside, and what is nice is that they actually taste like fruit--not merely fruit-flavored candy. They are very sweet, however, so a little goes a long way.
Want to eat some Ate? You might have luck purchasing at a Mexican grocery store, if you've got one in your area; otherwise, find a recipe here. Thanks again to Diane from Street Treats for introducing me to this delightful treat!