Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

January 25, 2011

Horchata: What is It?

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolyncholland @ 10:30 am
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CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011

HORCHATA: WHAT IS IT?

     While cleaning a kitchen cupboard, I pulled out a package that claimed to be horchata flavor drink. Like the tamarindo flavored drink mix, the only justification I can consider in having this is curiosity—what does this mysterious drink taste like? and what is it?—and that the price was marked down from an already sale price of $2.30 to $.0.75.

     Delicia, the package said. Makes 1.4 gallons.

     Instructions for this beverage were given in an unknown foreign language, and English. It appeared to be similar to the powdered drinks we are more familiar with.

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     A liquid craze is sweeping across our nation from the south.  This infectious drink has been carried across continents and language barriers, through millenniums, and by all types of people.  I also hear it is trendy in Manhattan.

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     Chufa – Tiger nut (cyperaceae cyperus esculentus) are the tiny, tuberous roots of a Middle-Eastern plant of the sedge family. In other words, the Chufa (pronounced CHOO-fah) “nuts” are basically the little pea sized roots of a middle eastern/African plant, that looks kind of basic brown.  It has a basic off-white flesh that you would suspect. In other words if you hit an almond with a hammer you get similar pasty goo.

     This nut is like psycho good for your health, with high levels of iron and potassium.  It does not contain sodium, is very low in fat content, and is valued for its minerals and vitamins.

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     Here is a wild explanation of where the name “Horchata” came from. (It was on my Internet source site—) so it must be accurate, right??

Horchata – Drink of the gods.

     There’s an old story about a girl in a little town that offered some of the drink to the visiting King of Catalunya and Aragon. After enjoying the drink, the king asked, “Que es aixo?” (What is this?). The girl answered, “Es leche de Chufa” (Chufa milk – which was its original name), to which the King replied, “Aixo no es llet, aixo es OR, XATA!” (This is not milk; this is GOLD, CUTIE). The word “Xata” in Catalan – which the King spoke – is an affectionate nickname for a child.

     The fame spread throughout the country and the name of the drink started to be known in Spanish as Orchata. Later, the H was added to the beginning.

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     As a drink process, removing grain and nut oils and tasty nutrients and mixing them with water is nothing new.  All cultures have done it like, well, forever.  But the Horchata – Chufa style – has its origin in ancient Egypt.  Chufa is one of the earliest domesticated crops and in fact, was found in vases and used in the embalming methods in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs. The Chufa nut was widely used in Egypt and Sudan. The Arabs dragged the plant by excessive force to Spain during the time of the Moorish kings (700 B.C. a 1200 A.D.). The eastern Spanish province of Valencia was the best environment for growing Chufa.  (remember Valencia: oranges, and Chufa nuts. Oh, and sausages, and paellas, and..)

     A little known fact is that large portions of Latin America are lactose intolerant.  Studies show figures as high as 30 percent!  This trend is increasing among Americans as well.  What can be done as a substitute turns out to be an amazingly refreshing drink.  It perfectly compliments the spicy nature of Mexican food. 

SOURCE:

INFORMATION TAKEN SHAMELESSLY FROM THE FOLLOWING SITE:

I INVITE YOU TO CLICK ON IT FOR MORE INFORMATION!

http://www.popsynth.com/horchata.htm

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ADDITIONAL READING:

JANUARY DAYS OF CELEBRATION: Part 1

www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com

www.beanerywriters.wordpress.com

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