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Posts Tagged ‘Chiles en Nogada’

On September 16, Mexico celebrates Día de la Independencia — marking Father Hidalgo’s call to arms (Grito de Dolores) to begin the ten-year war for independence from Spain.  However, the entire month of September is El Mes de la Patria (the month of the homeland) and streets and vendor stalls are awash with the green, white, and red of the Mexican flag.

Last week, walking down to Mercado Benito Juárez to pick up a few last-minute regalitos (little gifts) to bring up to family and friends in el norte, within two blocks I saw…

There is even a very yummy green, white, and red patriotic dish that appears in restaurants in September — Chiles en nogada.  I’m hoping it will still be on the menu when I return at the end of the month from the el norte trip.

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El Grito not only heralds green, white, and red decorations, clothing, and Mexican flags.  It is also the season to savor the multi-layered, delicate flavors of Chiles en Nogada and delight in its colorful, patriotic presentation.  Legend has it, the dish was created in 1821 by nuns in Puebla to honor a visit by Mexican General Augustín de Iturbide, that pretty much signaled the end of the eleven-year long Mexican War of Independence.

There are probably as many recipes for Chiles en Nogada as there are chefs and abuelas, but the basics include green poblano chiles stuffed with a picadillo of meats, fruits, nuts, herbs and spices; served with a creamy white cheese and walnut sauce; and topped with a garnish of red pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and the green of chopped parsley.

Serving of Chiles en Nogada on a white plate.

This was my lunch of Chiles en Nogada today at La Popular, a delightful new restaurant in Oaxaca (Garcia Vigil 519, Centro).  Yummm….

(ps)  Chris just posted this video of Lina Fernandez making Chiles en Nogada.  She makes it look almost doable!

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Let the celebrations begin!  This morning, enroute to the library, I ran into a pre-school parade coming down the Alcalá…

Children carrying Mexican flag and Viva Hidalgo sign.

These two were bringing up the rear because they kept pausing for photos, and I couldn’t resist, either!

A little girl holding the hand of an even smaller boy.

Going to the zócalo this afternoon more resembled trying to get to an airport gate, than strolling into a town square.  Security checkpoints, with metal detectors, have been set up at 10 intersections.  According to an article in this morning’s Noticias, security cameras are also in use.

Black clad military with automatic weapons, wearing flak jackets and helmets, at security checkpoint

All is in readiness for tonight’s festivities… another sound and light show projected on the cathedral, fireworks, and the Grito de Dolores from the balcony of the Government Palace.

Government Palace with flags and color portraits of Mexican heroes of Independence.

However, tonight I’ll be eating the traditional Chiles en Nogada,  listening for the bells at 11PM, and then watching the fireworks from my ringside seat on the rooftop.  ¡Viva Mexico!

(ps)  Portrait on the left is of Vicente Guerrero.

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