Heaven, every little thing else the may have going for it, should surely smell of masa, that blessed gift native Mesoamerica to the remainder of the world.

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Nixtamalized corn–that is, corn that has been treated through lime to do it an ext digestible–is floor to do the flour supplied in making so many delicious foods and drinks: tamales, tortillas, pinol (or pinole), tostadas, sopes, gorditas, amongst others.

Before it’s ground together flour, though, the nixtamalized corn is what us in the English-speaking people usually describe as hominy. In Mexico, it’s called either pozole (also order posole) or cacahuazintle (also order cacahuacintle), which refers most frequently to one heirloom range of corn known because that its huge grains.

Fun fact: the “s” and the “z” room pronounced the exact same in mexican Spanish, therefore the multiple spelling options–and boosted chances because that spelling errors. Pozole seems to it is in the desired spelling in Mexico proper, while posole shows up an ext often in borderlands recipes.

The indigenous “posole” and “pozole” come, of course, from Nahuatl, the Uto-Aztecan language talked in various develops from pre-Hispanic times until, well, now. Nahuatl is among 68 indigenous languages recognized by the mexican government; at approximately 2 million speakers, it is the second most commonly talked language in Mexico after Spanish.

Our contemporary word pozole comes native the Nahuatl pozolli, which method “frothy” or “boiled.” The translation ideas at the pre-Hispanic ritual beginnings of pozole together a food made v the boiled flesh of person captives. There room accounts that imply that these beginnings account because that the popularity of pork in mexican cuisine, together that meat is claimed to be an agree substitute for person flesh. Ns am skeptical, however, provided that the routine seems to have actually been limited to a fairly small group of pre-Hispanic nobles. In addition, pork is hugely famous in Spain–and yes, really tasty, which seem to me to be much more important determinants in cooking acculturation.

(As ns was reading about the beginnings of pozole, ns couldn’t aid but think of Carlos Fuentes’s standard meditation top top the relationship in between past and also present in his short story “Chac Mool“; English translation accessible here.)

Ritual anthropophagy aside, pozole in modern Mexico is a lovely dish with multiple local variations. It’s food for celebration and, much like tamales, it’s food that’s best prepared collectively.

As with the spelling variations, the dish varies from location to place: it’s often made through pork, but sometimes v chicken. Occasionally it’s pozole verde and also sometimes posole rojo. And then there’s pozole blanco, a kind of center way.

Faced with an abundance of environment-friendly tomatoes and also a couple of tomatillos left end from warmer garden days, my plan is come conscript them right into a variation of pozole verde, which should be an aromatic way to heat up the kitchen and also utilize the continues to be of a roasted chicken from previously in the week.

If every the talk of human sacrifice has put you off meat, below are other choices for making use of up green tomatoes:

A keep in mind on hominy: several of this recipes call for canned hominy, i beg your pardon is probably fine, i guess.

I buy dried hominy from Rancho Gordo. Through his incomparable poetic wit and also copywriting genius, Steve Sando defines the results of cooking hominy as those of make your entire kitchen “smell favor a glorious, very delicious wet tortilla.”

I’m pretty certain the canned ingredient doesn’t do that.

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The header picture was downloaded from this site but comes initially from the Florentine Codex, a writing on the peoples of central Mexico ready shortly after conquest by the Spanish under the direction the Fray Bernadino de Sahagún. He had actually evangelization in mind but carried out his job-related with the help of Nahua researchers. It is both fascinating and heartbreaking.