Making Marquesitas

Last Revised: July 16, 2016

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Rolled Marquesitas

These Marquesitas are rolled up with the filling inside.
Most of the ones we saw on Cozumel and on Isla Mujeres
were folded in half after the fillings were applied.
Once the filling was applied, the half-size goodie was
rolled up and had a napkin wound around the bottom.


We first heard about the Marquesita in February of 2010, as we were preparing for our annual trip the the Mexican Yucatan Penninsula. Friends had recently returned from there, having fallen for their unique flavor and shape. They implored us to get more information about them while we were there.

A history of the Marquesita

(Note of Tuesday 30 of May of 2006) The Marquesita, a history.
It was born to confront the fall of the (ice cream cone) sales at the time of cold. In a very cold season in 1945, the ice creams stopped selling. And not to die of hunger, Vicente Mena Munoz, heir of traditional "Polito Ice cream", invented a product with rolled {ice cream} wafer: marquesita, stuffed with ball cheese {edam}, manchego or cajeta {caramel}. "My father prepared the ice cream wafers like my grandfather, Leopoldo Mena Bonilla, had taught him. In the search of a product that helped to the economic situation, because the sale of ice creams fell too much as a result of the cold, it ocurred him to coil the rolled wafer and to put meat and other things. Nevertheless, that product did not stuck", remembers Vicente Mena Heredia, Polito Ice cream owner.

"When looking for a tasty combination, he added to the rolled wafer several products, among them daysi cheese and other types of cheese. The combination of the rolled wafer with the ball cheese was the best one."
"The marquesita name arose as a result that the word has a good ring and because the product had cheese", it continues. "When people left mass at the temple of Santiago, they crowded to buy marquesitas". With the passage of the years, his father lost his sight and stoped making the marquesitas. "But people requested the marquesitas to us and as they insisted we continued to prepare this product", he mentions.

"When people asked to me, I told them that I did not like to prepare the marquesitas because they burned my hands."
"The rolled wafer of the marquesita is different from the one from the ice cream. It has milk, vanilla and a little almond, to give a rich flavor", assures Mr. Mena Heredia. One of the problems is that his father did not register the invention of the marquesita and, as the product got great acceptance, other people began to prepare this treat, but not with the same flavor. "They can prepare them, but don't use the name Polito", he warns.

Thus the "marquesitas" arose in the yucatecan capital, those crunchy waffers stuffed with ball cheese or manchego, that also have cajeta, and that pleases much particularly to the children. In "Polito Ice creams", the marquesitas are sold to 12 and 16 pesos, the special one. - Claudia Ivonne Sierra Medina

The Polito Ice Cream parlor is located at Parque de Santiago, on the north side of the church.

How they are made:

You can see from the foregoing that the marquesita consists of a shell similar to a waffle cone and that it has a filling applied immediately after the Marquesita Maker's top has been opened, before the shell has a chance to harden.

Here is a simple picture essay of the making of a Marquesita:

Marquesita Maker Ready for Batter
The Marquesita Maker is about 12 inches in diameter. We have seen several different types. Some appear to be made of cast iron, as this one is. Note the long handles. There is a large propane burner several inches below the bottom of the Maker. My guess it that it is about well over 50,000 btu in output when on full. They seem to keep the burners on pilot. Once they have been cooking for a while, the whole Marquesita maker is hot.

Marquesita Maker with Batter
When they start a new one, they first spray both halves with Pam or, as one guy did, rubbed a stick on lard on both sides.
Then the operator turns the heat on full for about 35 seconds or so. Heat back to pilot.

Marquesita Maker Closed
Let it cook for 30 seconds or so and check.

Marquesita Maker with Marquesita Stuck on Top
The Marquesita seems to stick to one side of the maker or the other during this process.

Marquesita Maker Loosening Marquesita
Operator gently scrapes the "crepe" loose before its so well cooked that it won't stick back together. Recoats the spots where sticking occurred with Pam.
After another look-see, he loosens the "crepe" again and turns it over to complete the cooking. Note that he turns the "crepe" over, not the Marquesita Maker.

Marquesita Maker Done

Operator opens the Marquesita Maker up when the "crepe" is a light brown, but not stiff!!!. Quickly folds it in half, butters it with the selected topping (I like Nutella) and adds sliced bananas (my favorite). There are many other concoctions that can be used.
Now, still moving rapidly, the operator rolls the "crepe" up and adds a napkin. This has to happen pretty quickly, before the shell can harden.
Note: All the cooking has been done with only one side of the Marquesita Maker toward the fire. Now, just before starting the Marquesita, he turns the Maker over. He can do this because there was a lot of heat built up in the lower (now the upper) half.