Chiles en nogada are here!
Chiles en nogada (chilies in a walnut sauce) are one of the few dishes in the Mexican and international cuisine that have a place and date of birth. In order to understand chiles en nogada, we must comprehend how and why they were created.
Let’s imagine the scene: Agustín de Iturbide, regarded in that very moment as the savior and pacifier of the New Spain, had just signed the independence of the Mexican Empire along with the last Spaniard Viceroy, Juan O’Donojú in the city of Córdoba on August 24, 18821 and on his way to Mexico City he stopped in Puebla right on his Saint’s Day, August 28.
The Augustine nuns of the Saint Monica convent, in charge of preparing the meals for the celebration, wanted to regale the new hero with a unique creation, so they took the fruits they had at hand at the moment: milky weet pear, gala apple, criollo peach, walnut, pomegranate… and of course, poblano chili.
Iturbide was riding in company of Vicente Guerrero and their Army of the Three Guarantees – religion, union and independence – each one present in the colors green, white and red of the new nation’s flag. Thus the accommodating nuns decided these three colors should be present in his dish: the green of the chili, the white of the walnut sauce and the red of the pomegranate seeds.
And so it went, with the devotion to kitchen tasks characteristic of nuns and women of those years in general, ingredients were carefully measured, balanced and mixed to obtain a mestizo – baroque creation of Mexican gastronomy: chiles en nogada, which nowadays are a true delicacy available only during the months of August and September.
Currently chiles en nogada have spread all over the country, especially on the central area where weather is very much like in Puebla, and they can be tasted in slightly different versions, although of course the dwellers of Puebla reclaim as theirs the original recipe.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit our hotels and restaurants and order the traditional chiles en nogada, available for limited time only!
A translation and interpretation specialist, Paco Morás is also passionate for literature, music and tourism. For the last fifteen years he has worked as a language and service trainer in the high-end hotel industry in the Vallarta – Nayarit area. He has also collaborated as a free-lance writer in several electronic and printed media.