Chiles en nogada, México’s flag on a dish

Photo: (MX City)

Chiles en nogada are one of the most representative, beautiful and Mexican dishes. In this article we will walk you through their history.

There are two versions of how this fantastic dish was created, the first one says that in 1821 after México’s independence, Mexicans looked for a dish that resembled their new flag and celebrated their new independence. It was until the Augustinian nuns of the Convento de Santa Mónica in the state of Puebla (today the Museum of Religious Art) found out that their hero, Agustín de Iturbide who led the insurgents to their victory, would be passing by on dates close to their saint’s day, that they decided to celebrate it with a feast. This led to the creation of the undisputed flagship dish of Puebla, as well as one of the most representative of all Mexican cuisine: Chile en Nogada.

To prepare a recipe that would impress not only the independence war hero but also his entire troop, the nuns chose seasonal ingredients representative of the various regions of the state. Chiles from San Martin Texmelucan, meat from Cholula, walnuts from San Andres Calpin, pears from the Convento del Carmen in Puebla, and peaches from Huejotzingo. To cook them they used pewter, wood, and clay utensils.

To imprint a patriotic feeling in this dish, they bathed it with a white sauce of walnuts, added a touch of green using a little parsley, and sprinkled pomegranate to impregnate it with red color.

The other story, a very romantic one, is told by non-other than famous writer Artemio de Valle-Arzipe. he relates that in the Ejército Trigarante (the independence army) there were three soldiers whose girlfriends lived in Puebla. Excited about their Independence and having their sweethearts back, they decided to create this dish to celebrate it. Each one chose an ingredient that represented the color of the army.

But no matter which story is true, one thing is for sure, no dish will ever match the delicious and most unique sweet and salty combination of the Mexican Chile en Nogada.

References:

Arcos, M. (2021, septiembre 16). Chiles en nogada: historia y receta original de Puebla. Cocina Fácil. https://www.cocinafacil.com.mx/recetas/chiles-en-nogada-historia-receta-original-puebla-chile-capeado/

National Geographic. (2018, agosto 9). ¿Cómo nacieron los chiles en nogada? National Geographic en Español. https://www.ngenespanol.com/traveler/como-se-crearon-los-chiles-en-nogada/

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