Hot, sweet and salty

TOSTILOCOS A traditional Mexican botanita that hits on almost all the flavor points, striking up a savory, sweet and hot balance on the palate.Photo: Debra Eskinazi

When Paramvir Dhillon and his wife, Dolores came across a vacant ice cream shop in a shopping center off Dunne and Monterey in Morgan Hill last summer, they knew they had found the perfect location for their ice cream and treat shop.

Sure, they have strawberry and vanilla ice cream in their cold case, but their mainstay is botanitas, or specialty fruit snacks, and traditional Mexican-flavored ice creams. Married for four years, the young couple opened up Las Delicias Ice Cream & Botanitas at 16999 Monterey Road in August 2015.

Dhillon says that the majority of Las Delicias’ customers are Hispanic, but that when he added window signs showcasing their offerings, he began to attract a more diverse clientele.

He says he likes that they sell healthy snacks, since large portions of fresh fruits are included in their foods. Even their frozen confections are made from fresh fruits and nuts.

Las Delicias works with a local ice cream maker to create traditional flavors like nuez, which is pecan, or mamey, a sweet tropical fruit with a creamy texture that tastes like sweet potato and pumpkin. Other traditional flavors include corn, queso, a cheese-flavored ice cream, and arroz con leche. They even have tequila ice cream, but their most popular flavors are mango and guava—a single scoop is just $2.50. In addition to their authentic Mexican ice creams, their best-sellers are typical Mexican street foods.

Our party was excited to find elote preparado ($5.49), or corn, typically served on the cob, this dish combines corn with mayonnaise, cheese and hot sauce.

While we enjoyed our elote preparado, we sipped a coctel de fruta ($7.99) of fresh pineapple juice, blended into frothy goodness.

A frequently requested menu item, Tostilocos ($6.50), or “crazy chips” are tortilla chips topped with cucumber, jicama, lime juice, chamoy, chili powder, japanese peanuts, tamarind candies and cueritos, which are pickled pig skin or “little leathers.” There’s a little bit of everything in there and this botanita hits on almost all the flavor points too, striking up a savory, sweet and hot balance on the palate.

Las Delicias also serves Tostielote ($6.50), a dish that combines crunchy tortilla chips with the fixings from elote preparado.

Their Mangonada ($5.50), which includes fresh mangos, mango ice cream, lime juice and chili powder with a tamarind-covered straw, is another popular menu item.

Dhillon says Las Delicias buys locally sourced fresh produce several times a week. “Aside from the ice cream, nothing is frozen. We don’t have a delivery person—we go and pick it out ourselves—it’s the only way to have control over our product.”

“They have a really great fruit cup,” says Morgan Hill resident Zulema Birruete, who has eaten at Las Delicias every Friday since they opened a year ago. “It’s authentic,” she says of their Tostilocos, “and it’s hard to make on your own. It’s really delicious. You should try it.”

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