Pozole (Nahuatl languages: pozolli Spanish pronunciation: [po'sole], pozole), which means "hominy", is a traditional soup or stew from Mexican Cuisine. It is made from hominy, with meat (typically pork), and can be seasoned and garnished with shredded lettuce or cabbage, chile peppers, onion, garlic, radishes, avocado, salsa or limes.
Pozole is typically served on New Year's Eve to celebrate the new year. Pozole is frequently served as a celebratory dish throughout Mexico and in Mexican communities outside Mexico. Common occasions include Mexico Independence Day, birthdays, Christmas and other holidays. It is a typical dish in various states such as Nayarit, Sinaloa, Michoacán, Guerrero, Zacatecas, Jalisco, and Morelos. Pozole is served in Mexican restaurants worldwide and is also popular in New Mexico where it was a common dish among the Pueblo Indians residing along the Rio Grande River in New Mexico.
Pozole can be prepared in many ways. All variations include a base of cooked hominy in broth. Typically pork, or sometimes chicken, is included in the base. Vegetarian recipes substitute beans for the meat. The three main types of pozole are blanco/white, verde/green and rojo/red. White pozole is the preparation without any additional green or red sauce. Green pozole adds a rich sauce based on green ingredients, possibly including tomatillos, epazote, cilantro, jalapeños, or pepitas. Red pozole is made without the green sauce, instead adding a red sauce made from one or more chiles, such as guajillo, piquin, or ancho.
When pozole is served, it is accompanied by a wide variety of condiments, potentially including chopped onion, shredded lettuce, sliced radish, cabbage, avocado, limes, oregano, tostadas, chicharrón, or chiles.
Pozole was mentioned in the 16th century Florentine Codex by Bernardino de Sahagún. Since maize was a sacred plant for the Aztecs and other inhabitants of Mesoamerica, pozole was made to be consumed on special occasions.
According to research by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History) and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, on these special occasions, the meat used in the pozole was human. After the prisoners were killed by having their hearts torn out in a ritual sacrifice, the rest of the body was chopped and cooked with maize, and the resulting meal was shared among the whole community as an act of religious communion. After the Conquest, when cannibalism was banned, pork became the staple meat as it "tasted very similar" [to human flesh], according to Bernardino de Sahagún.
The conjunction of maize (usually whole hominy kernels) and meat in a single dish is of particular interest to scholars, because the ancient Americans believed the gods made humans out of masa (cornmeal dough)[unreliable source?]
Dried hominy can be used for pozole, but it must be soaked and cooked.
Green pozole, cooked in Guerrero State fashion
Green pozole, with condiments, served in Zihuatanejo (Guerrero)
Red pozole, served in Mexico City
- List of maize dishes
- List of Mexican dishes
- List of soups
- List of stews
- Menudo (soup) – a similar dish made with tripe
- Mexican cuisine
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- Cookpad: Pozole Blanco
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- Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain (Translation of and Introduction to Historia General de Las Cosas de La Nueva España; 12 Volumes in 13 Books ), trans. Charles E. Dibble and Arthur J. O Anderson (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1950–1982). Images are taken from Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, The Florentine Codex. Complete digital facsimile edition on 16 DVDs. Tempe, Arizona: Bilingual Press, 2009. Reproduced with permission from Arizona State University Hispanic Research Center.
- Mexico On My Plate: Red Pozole and It’s History
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