Posole[ PURCHASE INFO ]
Posole: Posole is a traditional Mexican soup made with corn, meat, and a few other ingredients like onion, garlic, chiles, cilantro... The recipe varies by region, but the basics of corn and meat are what make it posole. Posole is usually made with pork and is thick and chunky, so it is often referred to as a stew. In Mexico it is so popular that restaurants called pozolerías cater to it. The name posole means "foamy", and the first step in making posole is to boil the meat with the corn in water, the boiling meat makes a layer of foam on top. Variations on posole are available in different areas of Mexico. One popular example is Pozole Rojo which has destemmed ancho chiles or guajillo chiles added to the soup to give it a red color and some additional flavor and heat.
The corn used for posole is what Americans call hominy. It is processed, or "nixtamalized", by soaking in lye-water. Nixtamalization is a beneficial process, it makes the corn easier to digest and dramatically improves the availability of B vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It also changes the flavor and removes the hull. Cristopher Columbus brought corn back to Europe in the 1400's, but he didn't bring the nixtamalization process with him. As a result malnutrition became a problem in areas where corn became popular. Modern diets include enough vitmains and minerals from other sources, so nixtamalized corn has become a more specialized food item. Nixtamalized corn is the basis for posole, but it has also found it's way into western culture. Southern grits are made from ground, dried nixtamalized corn (hominy). Nixtamalization is thought to have first been used on corn about 3500 years ago in Central America, near what we now call Guatemala.
Posole has a reputation as a remedy for hangovers, eating posole when you get home late is supposed to help prevent "the morning after". Posole itself is a very simple recipe, including meat and corn, water, onion, garlic and salt and pepper. It's popular to top posole with a variety of items including sliced avocado, shredded cabbage or lettuce, lime wedges, diced raw onion, chiles... So a pot of posole surrounded by colorful toppings can make a visually impressive meal, as well as a tasty and filling one.
Dried Corn for Posole
Where to buy: Corn