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Its chiles en nogada time

By Paco Morás

September 09, 2021

Chiles en nogada (chilies in a walnut sauce) are one of the few dishes in the Mexican and international cuisine that have a place and date of birth. In order to understand chiles en nogada, we must comprehend how and why their creation came to pass.

Let’s picture the scene: we have Agustín de Iturbide, regarded in that very moment as the savior and pacifier of the New Spain. He had just signed the independence of the Mexican Empire. He signed it with the last Spaniard Viceroy, Juan O’Donojú in the city of Córdoba on August 24, 1821. On his way to Mexico City, he stopped in Puebla right on his Saint’s Day, August 28.

The Augustine nuns of the Saint Monica convent were in charge of preparing the meals for the celebration. They  wanted to regale the new hero with a unique creation. They took the fruits they had at hand at the moment: milky sweet pear, gala apple, criollo peach, walnut, pomegranate… and of course, poblano chili.

How come chiles en nogada have those colors?

Iturbide was riding in company of Vicente Guerrero and their Army of the Three Guarantees – religion, union and independence. Each one was present in the colors green, white and red of the new nation’s flag.  Thus, the accommodating nuns decided these three colors should be present in his dish. So, the green of the chili, the white of the walnut sauce and the red of the pomegranate seeds came just handy.

chiles en nogada

And so it went, with the devotion to kitchen tasks characteristic of nuns and women of those years in general. They carefully measured, balanced, and mixed the ingredients to obtain a mestizo – baroque creation of Mexican gastronomy. Chiles en nogada were born! Nowadays, they are a true delicacy available only during the months of August and September.

Currently chiles en nogada have spread all over the country, especially on the central area.  Weather is very much like that in Puebla. They can be tasted in slightly different versions, although of course the dwellers of Puebla reclaim as theirs the original recipe.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Puerto Vallarta restaurants and order the traditional chiles en nogada! Remember, they will be available for limited time only!





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