Thursday, 7 August 2014

Midsummer Mexican cuisine: Chiles en nogada

It is one of the tastier periods to be on vacation in Cancun and Riviera Maya, due to a great dish arriving at the table: Chiles en nogada. This is a seasonal dish from the Mexican cuisine and one of our favorites at Mayan Explore. The name comes from the Spanish word for walnut tree, nogal. It consists of poblano chiles filled with picadillo (a mixture normally featuring shredded meat, aromatics, panochera apple, criollo peach and spices) topped with a walnut-based cream sauce, called nogada, and pomegranate seeds.
Chile en nogada
The first recipe for Chiles en nogada was developed in the city of Puebla (in central Mexico) at the Santa Monica convent by Augustinian nuns (although some historians credit it to the Claristas). The sisters were caught up in the festivities surrounding Mexico’s Independence Day in 1821. When Agustín de Iturbide (the liberator who negotiated the peace treaties and then became Mexico’s emperor) passed through Puebla, a large banquet was organized. The nuns, willing to demonstrate their national pride, presented Iturbide with a dish they had invented to display the red, white, and green colors of the new national flag.

Mexico's flag 
The largest Chile en nogada ever cooked
This is a delicious culinary way to get in the spirit of Mexico’s Independence Day (celebrated on September 16). The traditional season for this tasty dish is from August to the first half of September, when pomegranates appear in the markets of central Mexico and the national independence festivities begin. If you happen to be on holiday in Cancun, Riviera Maya or anywhere in Mexico, we truly recommend you try this exquisite dish. Then, please let us know if you have enjoyed it as much as we do every year.

Let the banquet begin! 

Some ingredients