Beeswax Candles | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Beeswax Candles

The "San Miguel Look" informing the decor of so many of our homes includes large candles set in iron candelabras. Candles made from tallow were the principal source of light at the time many of our houses were built—during the 18th century silver boom.

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Candles are no longer made from tallow, but people burn beeswax ones to provide romantic atmosphere and a vaguely Colonial feel.

We bought a couple of iron candelabras from someone who was moving back to the U. S. Now we needed some fat, cream-colored candles. Where to get them?

In the States, we would have gone to Stanford shopping center where there was sure to be a shop that sold fringed throw pillows, jars of potpourri and candles—undoubtedly for outrageous prices. But then, what price style? We had friends to impress, and if big candles cost $10-$20 a pop, then so be it.

But there's no equivalent to Stanford Shopping Center here. In the nearest big city, Querétaro, we have a Costco, a Sam's Club, a Wal-Mart, and for fine men's furnishings, Mexico's own world-class haberdasher—Sears. None of them have big fat candles. Nor are there any quaint little shops that sell fringed throw pillows, jars of potpourri and candles.

So we asked around. "Oh yeah. There's a place up on Mesones where we buy our candles. Everybody goes there." We walked up the hill peering into doorways. In one, we saw a case displaying a selection of candles. Eureka!

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The place is like so many Mexican stores; it has an ad-hoc look. No signage, no street appeal. The candle display looks like an afterthought. What kind of business is it? We looked closer.

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Yeek! Caskets. An undertaker.

I don't know about you, but if I were thumbing through the yellow pages, I would never have thought to look under "Caskets."

Feeling a little creepy, we selected our candles. The price was right. The three in our candelabra cost less than $5 for the bunch.
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