Heaven, whatever else that may have going for it, must surely smell of masa, the blessed gift indigenous Mesoamerica come the remainder of the world.

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Nixtamalized corn–that is, corn that has been treated through lime to do it an ext digestible–is soil to make the flour used in making so countless delicious foods and also drinks: tamales, tortillas, pinol (or pinole), tostadas, sopes, gorditas, among others.

Before it’s ground together flour, though, the nixtamalized corn is what we in the English-speaking human being usually describe as hominy. In Mexico, it’s dubbed either pozole (also order posole) or cacahuazintle (also assignment cacahuacintle), i beg your pardon refers most frequently to an heirloom range of corn known for its big grains.

Fun fact: the “s” and the “z” are pronounced the same in mexican Spanish, for this reason the many spelling options–and enhanced chances for spelling errors. Pozole seems to be the preferred spelling in Mexico proper, while posole shows up much more often in borderlands recipes.

The words “posole” and also “pozole” come, the course, indigenous Nahuatl, the Uto-Aztecan language talked in various forms from pre-Hispanic times until, well, now. Nahuatl is just one of 68 indigenous languages recognized through the mexico government; at approximately 2 million speakers, it is the 2nd most commonly spoken language in Mexico after Spanish.

Our modern-day word pozole comes indigenous the Nahuatl pozolli, which way “frothy” or “boiled.” The translation clues at the pre-Hispanic ritual origins of pozole together a dish made with the boiled flesh of human being captives. There room accounts that indicate that these origins account because that the popularity of pork in mexican cuisine, together that meat is stated to it is in an agree substitute for human flesh. Ns am skeptical, however, given that the routine seems to have been limited to a fairly small team of pre-Hispanic nobles. In addition, pork is hugely renowned in Spain–and yes, really tasty, i beg your pardon seem come me to be much more important factors in cooking acculturation.

(As i was reading about the origins of pozole, ns couldn’t assist but think of Carlos Fuentes’s standard meditation top top the relationship between past and present in his short story “Chac Mool“; English translation obtainable here.)

Ritual anthropophagy aside, pozole in modern-day Mexico is a beloved dish with multiple regional variations. It’s food for celebration and, lot like tamales, it’s food that’s finest prepared collectively.

As v the assignment variations, the dish varies from location to place: it’s frequently made with pork, however sometimes with chicken. Occasionally it’s pozole verde and sometimes posole rojo. And then there’s pozole blanco, a kind of middle way.

Faced with wealth of green tomatoes and also a couple of tomatillos left end from warmer garden days, my arrangement is come conscript them right into a version of pozole verde, which must be one aromatic way to heat up the kitchen and utilize the remains of a roasted chicken from previously in the week.

If all the speak of person sacrifice has actually put you turn off meat, here are other options for making use of up eco-friendly tomatoes:

A note on hominy: number of of these recipes speak to for box hominy, i beg your pardon is most likely fine, ns guess.

I buy dried hominy native Rancho Gordo. Through his incomparable poetic wit and copywriting genius, Steve Sando defines the results of food preparation hominy together those of do your whole kitchen “smell prefer a glorious, delicious wet tortilla.”

I’m pretty sure the canned stuff doesn’t carry out that.

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The header image was downloaded from this site but comes originally from the Florentine Codex, a writing on the individuals of main Mexico ready shortly after conquest by the Spanish under the direction the Fray Bernadino de Sahagún. He had actually evangelization in mind however carried the end his work with the help of Nahua researchers. The is both fascinating and heartbreaking.