How Sweet It Is! Dulceria Pico Rico

There's nothing like candy to release your inner 5 year old. From all day suckers to wickedly sour candies strong enough to make a grown-up wince, there's a sticky sweet treat to satisfy every taste bud. Nowadays, it seems like nostalgia reigns supreme as quirky candy from the good old days lines the shelves of local candy stores. Tune in for a trip around sugar lane as we visit three confectionary playgrounds.

Tuesday we looked at Sweets and Beats. Yesterday we checked out Smeeks. Today's sweet shop is Dulceria Pico Rico.

Dulceria Pico Rico 2533 N 16th Street Phoenix, AZ 85006 (602) 253-5610

For 13 years, the Gonzalez family has been bringing sugary treats and party fun to Phoenix from their bright pink building on 16th Street. With a name culled from owner Frank's two favorite candies, you'd be hard pressed to find a better selection of spicy, sweet and sour treats anywhere in town.

Fans of tamarind, the pucker-y taste comes in a dizzying array of options. Suckers, hard candy, squeezable packets, or doused in chile and lime, it's all here. Actually, it seems like it's all here, and in bulk. From marzipan to Duvalin (candy creams) in flavors like hazelnut and strawberry, giant packages are the order of the day. You'll find large bags of just about every treat, from Japanese peanuts to Rollo de Coco, a toasted coconut candy bar.

That's probably a good thing, since they are totally addicting, and running out could be a very bad thing, indeed.

It's hard to miss the colorful piñatas that hang from the ceiling throughout the store. From tiny, green-skinned Halloween witches and pumpkins for only $3 to the near life-size Hello Kitty pinata for $25, it's easy enough to take several home with you. Party favors like Pirates of the Caribbean Hats and Hannah Montana sunglasses are all part of the fun, too, as are the quinceanara center pieces.

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