Thursday, 23 August 2007

Chiles en Nogada

We are currently in Puebla, and wanted to take advantage of the Festival de Chiles en Nogada that just so happens to be this week. Basically Chiles en Nogada is dish of local pride, and at this time of year there are more places that stock it- coinciding with the season for the poblano chile.

The dish is also a matter of na
tional pride, as was actually invented (by nuns!) for Agustín Iturbide, the first ruler of a free Mexico. It is consciously red, white
and green and is popular on independence day, along with things like pozole. Its origins remind me of that other fabricated patriotic recipe- coronation chicken. I don't think it is a coincidence that both dishes are a confusing medley of sweet and savoury, are very rich and full of exotic ingredients that have barely been introduced. These dishes have to exhibit every corner of the great nation (or empire) they represent, and all its richest richness's.

So the basic framework is a large, mild poblano chile, stuffed, covered in a cool, creamy walnutty sauce, topped with pomegranite pips (!). The stuffing is comprised of (and I only know because I asked) peanuts, ground meat, potato, beans, coriander, banana, cinnamon, apples, peaches, pears and onion.

Lindsay loved it, and so do many many other people. But to me it was like eating the tongue of a great big ogre, which had been killed while eating ice cream.

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