Mexican pozole – a delicious tradition
When it comes to comfort food, Americans turn to a hot bowl of chicken soup whereas Mexicans turn to pozole. The word pozole (Spanish pronunciation: po’sole) means “hominy,” or corn. It is a chunky soup or stew, that can be made in many ways, though each has a rich flavor with a kick of spice that will keep you warm on cold, blustery days.
The main ingredient in Mexican pozole is always corn, followed by green chilis, pork, garlic, onions and toppings such as cabbage, radishes, lime, oregano, salsas and sour cream. However, there are many varieties of pozole, depending on which region in Mexico it comes from. There is pozole rojo, made with red chilies; pozole blanca, a clear, white version; and pozole verde, a version made with green chilies, tomatillos and other greens.
This traditional soup has quite a story behind it.
Pozole traditionally goes back to Aztec religious rituals where they cooked corn kernels in lime and water until they softened and puffed up. This kind of corn can be found in Hispanic markets, but today hominy is used because it is softer and more available.
During the Aztec’s ancient religious ceremonies, the emperor would honor the god Xipe by sacrificing body parts of prisoners. Cannibalism was practiced due to their lack of protein. Body parts, such as the heart or flesh would be added to the soup. (Try not to think of that the next time to have pozole.) Good news is that after the Spanish arrived in America in the 1500s, cannibalism was banned and pork became the meat of choice in pozole.
Nevertheless, Mexican pozole is delicious and Mexicans enjoy is year ’round, as it makes a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is also enjoyed as a celebratory dish, mainly during Christmas.
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