Pozole, Mexican ancient history in every dish
The word pozole comes from the Nahuatl word pozolli, from tlapozonalli, which means frothy. Pozole is a broth of cacahuazintle corn kernels. We must precook this corn for two hours so that the kernels lose the fibrous husk that covers them. Then, when they boil, they open like a flower, which gives them a foamy appearance.
Pre-hispanic roots of pozole
This dish part of the Aztec’s diet before the conquest. Emperor Moctezuma used to enjoy a pozole dish offered to the god Xipe Tótec. He was the deity of fertility and corn regeneration. Chronicles and documents from the colonial period tell us that the ancient Nahua ate human flesh in a stew with corn kernels called tlacatlaolli, which in Nahuatl means “man’s corn”. However, with the arrival of the Spaniards the recipe changed. The new ingredients were the animals they brought with them. Thus, chicken, beef and especially pork became essential.
How to make it
The first step in the preparation of pozole is to cook a kilo of corn with two tablespoons of lime. This is “nixtamalization” and is useful to eliminate the crude fiber of the grain and the lignin, which is toxic. Then, you cook the corn in water with the pork meat, which can be head or leg. You can add the backbone to flavor the broth. The tostadas are the traditional accompaniment.
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What is your favorite pozole?
Nowadays, creativity and innovation make us find pozoles for all tastes. It all depends on who prepares it and the region it comes from. For example:
This is the most popular. You prepare it with dried cacahuazintle corn and part of the pig’s head. Lime juice, salt, hot sauce or ground piquin chili are the essential seasonings. You can also add lettuce, sliced radishes, chopped onion and ground oregano.
It comes from the state of Jalisco. The main difference is the preparation with ancho and guajillo chiles. Pork is the most common, but some people prepare it with chicken or turkey.
You prepare it with green tomatoes, epazote and pumpkin seeds. It comes from the state of Guerrero, and in some cases pork rinds and avocado accompany it.
It is very popular in the coasts of Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit. However, it is also popular in other coastal states. The main ingredient is shrimp broth cooked with pork lard. At the end, you add shrimp, fish, octopus, and clams.
If you are one of those who lead a vegetarian lifestyle, there is a recipe for pozole made with mushrooms and mushrooms. Obviously, the broth doesn’t take pork head, like the traditional ones. So, in this case, you prepare it with bay leaves, garlic, onion, guajillo chile and mushrooms.
Whichever type of pozole you prefer, it is a dish with a great history.