Tejate? Have you heard about such a thing called Tejate? If the answer either is yes or not, you have to read about this tasty beverage made in Oaxaca.
First at all, Tejate is a word is thought that comes from the Nahuatl language, "Texatl" which means floury water, compounded by "Textli" (flour) and "Atl" (water). The Zapotec name for tejate is "cu'uhb".
Tejate is a maize and cacao beverage. In streets of Oaxaca, there are stands with big clay pots or tubes where tejate is on sale. The main ingredients of Tejate include toasted maize flour, fermented cacao beans, mamey pits and Flor de cacao, called Rosita de cacao. Everything is finely ground into a paste. The paste is mixed with cold water, this step is very particular cause you can see women kneading the paste and carefully adding cold water until the flavour is got from ingredients. When it is ready, the Flor de cacao rises up to the top to form a pasty foam. Experience tasters say that a good tejate is the one with a thick rosita de cacao foam.
Tejate is really delicious, the flavour of the toasted maize and cacao are very enjoyable while the flavour of mamey pits and rosita de cacao are not so easy to distinguished by a new taster.
This traditional foamy drink is considered to be a very important part of cuisine, history, nutrition, and agriculture related to the maize in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca. It is tasty, invigorating, refreshing and, some say, aphrodisiacal. At first glance and for the unschooled eye, Tejate may seem not as a-wanna-try-drink but, once you try it, you know why it is really appreciated in Oaxaca.
We can only imagine the local women at a cool dawn setting the fire in order to prepare the once beverage of Zapotec kings, a mixture of bitter and sweet flavours, a drink that highlights the importance of corn in culture and tradition of Oaxaca, the foamy Tejate.
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