About chiles and nogada

By Angel Rivas - ago 13, 2017

This is probably the most awaited preparation of the season: chiles en nogada. But what is all the fuzz about this mexican dish?

The chef and culinary academic, Ricardo Muñoz Zurita explains this is a dish that was developed in 1821 and it evolved, so part of its success is that it has adapted to trends in a certain way.

But one thing is to adapt itself and another one is a huge transformation where all the main ingredients have sustitutes so the flavor and texture changes.

Mainly a chile in nogada is a stuffed chile poblano (a big green and fresh chili with a mild flavor) with a mix of minced meat and seasonal fruits from Puebla, covered with a thick and texturized sauce made of fresh walnuts and some pomegranate seeds to make an alluring contrast.

So this dish mixes some hot character of the chili, sweetness of the fruits and saltiness of the minced meat… well yes, but the result is spectacular.

Muñoz Zurita tells that a perfect chile in nogada must consider have local fruits like pancohera apple, pears from San Juan, yellow peach, plátano macho (overripped banana) and pink pinion.

The nogada sauce has to be made purely of walnuts and some water to have this milky vision of it, but it may never carry any cream, milk or chantilly in it.

“The dish came up that ay because those were the ingredients that were available at that time of the year in Puebla state. It wasn’t a dish where there was a huge selection of elements to make it”, emphasizes.

It doesn’t have to be a sweet preparation just like a dessert; the fruits must add that touch.

In the past the chili was coated in beated egg, but on those years this element was used to show a very fancy preparation. It is correct that nowadays there are versions that don’t carry the egg and makes the chile a bit less lighter.

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Food and wine journalist with two decades of experience. Editor and reporter at Reforma newspaper in Mexico and current collaborator in different media. Awarded with the Best Journalism Career 2011 by Vatel Club Mexico.