Chiles en Nogada

This wonderful dish is traditional for September, Mexico’s patriotism month, in honor of Mexican Independence Day (September 15-16th). Consisting of a green chile, white walnut sauce, and red pomegranate – the colors of the Mexican flag are brought to life in this delicious labor-intensive dish.

Keep in mind, the chiles that are used, poblanos, are tasty rather than hot and spicy.

Chiles en Nogada (poblano chiles stuffed with ground beef and pork, raisins, onion, garlic, peaches, apples, pear and crystallized orange and covered with a walnut sauce) was first prepared by the nuns at the Santa Monica convent in the Mexican state of Puebla for Agustín Iturbide (soon-to-be emperor of the independent Mexico) in August 1821. He and his followers had led the final revolt against Spanish domination; and he had just signed the Treaty of Córdoba. All the dishes at the banquet were concocted of ingredients of the color of the Mexican flag; in this dish were the green chiles, the white sauce, and the red pomegranate seeds.

You must start this labor-intensive dish one day ahead by soaking the walnuts overnight in milk for the nogada sauce. This dish is very involved, but the effort is worth it. It really is an extraordinary blend of flavors. Chiles en Nogada are supposed to be served at room temperature. This applies to both the chiles and the nogada, or walnut sauce.

Chiles en Nogada is mentioned in the book and movie “Like Water for Chocolate”, the novel by Laura Esquivel. This traditional dish was served at a wedding feast, and the description of the preparation (and the enjoyment) will have your mouth watering and you will be clamoring to enjoy such a wonderful delicacy! Because pomegranates and walnuts are both in season from August to October, this is the time of year to try them.

Don’t let this season pass by without sampling this culinary delight!

This wonderful dish, a festival for the eyes and palate, is traditional for September, Mexico’s patriotism month.

Where to get Chiles en Nogada in Mérida (2019):

Photo: Agencia Enfoque

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