The Jalisco Culture Secretariat has made two additions to its Inventario Estatal de Patrimonio Cultural, a list of tangible cultural sites and traditions in this state that is similar to the well-known Unesco designation.
“Cajeta de Leche de Sayula,” the famous caramel dessert/sweet, and the historic center of Puerto Vallarta now form part of Jalisco’s list of buildings, historic places, monuments, artifacts and traditions which are considered worthy of preservation for the future.
Both will now have “protected” status under state law.
Developed in the city of Celaya, Guanajuato, cajeta is a confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelised goat’s milk. It is a type of dulce de leche made by simmering goat’s milk, or occasionally a sweetened liquid, stirring frequently until it becomes viscous and caramelized. It can be eaten on its own or as a spread, and is often it is used as a topping for crêpes, as a sweet sauce boiled and softened with milk to soak the crêpes, resulting in a tasty dessert.
In September, 2010, cajeta was declared the Bicentennial Dessert of Mexico, honoring its history, tradition and origin.
For decades, the center for the production of cajeta in Jalisco has been the town of Sayula, located 30 miles west of Guadalajara. Produce from here is shipped throughout Mexico and has laid claim to fame for its quality and an original flavor that distinguishes itself from cajeta made in other parts of Mexico.
The designation for Puerto Vallarta’s centro historico is no surprise. Its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, including the delightful Church of the Virgin of Guadalupe, make the beach town unique among Mexico’s booming tourist hot spots. The recognition covers an area starting from the Hotel Rosita – the oldest hotel in Puerto Vallarta – along the Malecon to the main plaza, the Romantic Zone and Conchas Chinas neighborhood.