Have you heard about Tumbagones? No, it has nothing to do with tumbs or wagons.
It is the typical sweet candy of San Miguel de Allende.
This city, which has been named “the best city in the world” for the second time in a row, has among its
repertoire of curiosities these delicious desserts made from wheat, orange, anise and cinnamon,
sprinkled with icing sugar. They’re delicious! But wait… before you run out to buy them, you may want to
know a little more about their origin and the legend behind their elaboration.
Its name and its original form comes from “Tumbaga”, a very brittle alloy composed of gold and copper
used by goldsmiths in jewelry. In ancient times, the Tumbangas were very delicate pieces resembling a
ring that were under the custody exclusively of friars and priests, as a symbol of fidelity to God. They had
to be treated with extreme care, since they were so fragile, because if they somehow broke, they become
a negative symbol of disloyalty and a high shameful disgrace to the owner.
In 1542, during the colonial times, the tradition of making these sweets wafer-shaped rolled as a ring was
brought from France to Mexico by Fray Juan de San Miguel and Fray Bernardo de Cosín, who were
founders of San Miguel. These sweets have now reached the current times partially conserving its
At present, the practice of eating Tumbagones is still a ritual which, although it has lost most of its
seriousness and religious connotation, it still serves to unmask infidelity or at least make your partner
freak out. If you want to try and have a typical San Miguel’s experience, this is the way to eat
Tumbagones: According to custom, you must put one on your partner’s little finger as if it was a ring, then
he or she can proceed to bite it in half, but be careful! If the Tumbagón falls and breaks, it means that
your partner is unfaithful!
This is the main reason, why in San Miguel de Allende Tumbagones play a crucial part in celebrations
such as weddings, baptisms, first communions and Catholic ceremonies in general, in which people
express some kind of commitment.
Nowadays, as is typical of Mexican creative spirit, some artisans have made innovations to the original
recipe and it is now possible to find multiple variations of flavors that include strawberry, chocolate and
Now you know, if you have doubts about your partner’s loyalty, take her or him to San Miguel and buy
some Tumbagones! You can find them in the typical confectioneries of the Handicraft Market, where they
also sell Alegrías, Palanquetas, Cocadas, Merengues, Jamoncillos and a wide variety of delicacies that
work perfect as gifts to take home. This famous Market is located just 6 minutes’ walk from Casa 1810
Boutique Hotel. If you want to know what other interesting places to visit while in San Miguel de Allende,
we invite you to continue reading La Aurora Factory, art & design center.