Culture is one of the widest concepts, it’s not only the language you talk, but the buildings you visit, the jobs you do, the animals you worship and definitely, the food you like and eat. Food and history go hand in hand and every country has a nice story to tell and a delicious meal to offer. Rice-based drink-
American countries have what could be considered a particular relationship between these two elements as they were built up combining both tradition and conquest. The old and the new. What was given in the area and what was brought from places far away.
And Mexico is a great example of this as the indigenous communities developed amazing ways of working the land, planting and harvesting. But when the Spanish conquered the territory, they brought new ingredients along which the communities took and used in their own ways, creating a gastronomy for themselves with the best of both worlds.
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Mexican gastronomy today
Just the same way Mexico has been influenced by many countries around the world, its gastronomy has influenced many others too. Pigs, cows, chickens and also oil and rice are some of the things the Spanish brought and immediately served with the beans and the grains the American land had to offer. Today’s gastronomy in Mexico is based on beans, corn, tortillas, together with a piece of meat, and there’s no doubt that when it comes to use, the white rice ratio surpasses any other.
Tradition and versatility
Rice has been so well taken by this country that it’s now seen in all kinds of recipes, in all kinds of shapes. Not only food, but also beverages. And if we talk about Mexico and drinks (no, this is not going to be a recipe for tequila) we need to talk about horchata.
What is horchata? It’s a fresh rice-based drink. That’s right, even though there are hundreds of versions of this Mexican drink, the original version is rice-based. It’s a great pair for spicy meals as it’s made with milk and it’s extremely popular among Mexican people. So much so, you’ll definitely find it in every Mexican restaurant, although you should consider they may not be the original versions of horchata.
After rice, the most popular version of horchata is the coconut-based, so you’ll find both versions here. But if you’re looking for the traditional and original version, try out the first one.
- 1 cup of white rice.
- 1 ½ cups of milk.
- ¾ cup of sugar.
- 2 cups of water.
- ½ cup of almonds.
- Cinnamon sticks.
- 1 tbsp. vanilla.
- The first step will be to crush the hard ingredients. With the help of a blender, blend the rice down until it takes a floury texture. Do the same with the almonds. Set aside.
- In a wide skillet, pour the milk and the water and bring to a boil. Add the cinnamon sticks. Once it boils, lower the heat to minimum and let it simmer for about twenty minutes. You’ll need to stir continuously so it doesn’t burn.
- Strain the milk into a larger pan. Bring everything to a boil and reduce the heat again. Cook for about five more minutes. Take the cinnamon sticks out, but do not throw them away.
- Set the pan aside, off the heat and let it rest for a while.
- Once it cooled down, add the crushed rice and almonds.
- Add the sugar and a tablespoon of vanilla. Mix and blend all the ingredients together making sure they are uniform.
- Take it to the refrigerator for at least four hours and before you serve it, get rid of the sediment that has settled at the bottom.
- Serve with ice and the cinnamon sticks.
- 1 coconut.
- 2 cups of coconut water.
- 1 ½ cups of coconut milk.
- Cinnamon sticks.
- 1 tbsp of vanilla.
- 2 cups of water.
Preparation of coconut horchata is the same as the rice-based horchata. However, instead of blending the rice, you’ll blend the coconut and you’ll use the coconut-flavored ingredients instead of regular milk and water.
Coconut horchata is also a great option if you’re going vegan about your meal or if you’re lactose intolerant and can’t drink regular milk.
This drink goes great with meat-based dishes.