Chiles en Nogada is a traditional Mexican dish with a rich history. I have lived in Cancun for over 15 years, and I had never tried it, until last Friday.
Since this was an important, well, event really, I decided to leave it to the experts at La Habichuela, one of Cancun’s oldest and most beloved restaurants.
First I had a cocktail called Konhunlich (named for a Mayan archaeological site), or as the waiter called it, a Mayan Martini.
Then I asked to be moved to the dreamy garden, because well, I don’t know why anyone would want to sit indoors La Habichuela, unless it was raining or something.
Chiles en Nogada is generally only served in September and October, when pomegranates are in season, so I made it just in time. It is most commonly enjoyed in September for Mexican Independence Day, as it is a very patriotic dish that includes all the colors of the Mexican flag.
It is generally accepted that Chiles en Nogada originated in Puebla, but there are two versions of who exactly came up with the recipe.
The most popular version claims the dish was first prepared for Mexican emperor Agustín de Iturbide by nuns in a convent (historians can’t agree on which convent) in the 1800’s.
The other version claims the Traslosheros family created the dish from recipes that were handed down to them.
The fact that Chiles en Nogada is served at room temperature really surprised me. The dish consists of poblano chiles filled with picadillo (ground meat, fruit and spices) and topped with a walnut-based cream sauce (nogada), pomegranate seeds and parsley. Another thing that surprised me, it was quite sweet.
But I really liked it and ate every bite. Yum. ¡Viva Mexico! (Just what I needed, something else I like to eat.)
Do you like Chiles en Nogada?