i found this recipe a few days ago and cooked it up for my family, they loved it! The original Recipe is from “Gabriela, Clavo y Canela“/ Receta de Chiles en Nogada and was translated by Mily from mexicoinmykitchen.com. Many thanks to them both for the recipe and translation into english.
Poblano Peppers in walnut sauce are allusive to the Mexican National Independence Holiday, and are prepared in México between the months of August and September, which is the season where you can get the ingredients. Many restaurants, taverns and housewives prepare it at this time of the year. It is eaten cold or at room temperature. The Poblano peppers we use in this recipe are not spicy.
Preparing this dish could lead to ask many questions, such as what type of filling combination to use for the stuffing, or if they battered with eggs or not, or if they have goat cheese or not, and also questions of the historical value.
It is said that they were prepared to honor Puebla’s Iturbide at the end of the War of Independence, and more exactly on his birthday on August 28 (Feast of St. Augustine), by the nuns of the Convent of Santa Monica, wanting to use seasonal fruits in a recipe that has the colors of the Mexican Flag (green for the pepper and parsley, white with walnut sauce and red with the pomegranates). Others say it was made out by the society ladies of the time, others say that the girlfriends of the soldiers, but the funny thing is that no records are found about the recipe in the cookbooks published during the first part of the nineteenth century. I always imagined that, somewhere in the City of Puebla’s Museum, or in the Ex Convent of Santa Monica, where I learned about this wonderful cuisine that we still preserve, I would find this recipe like the most guarded gem inside a glass box, a yellowish paper manuscript with a nun’s handwritings, the original recipe for “Chiles en Nogada”, and for sure I would have exclaim “Oooooh!” after finding such a precious treasure. That, I dreamt of, before reading and finding out more about this recipe. And what was my disappointment to learn that there are not historical records of the recipe until many years later.
Although many families in Puebla claim to be the sole owners of the original recipe for the stuffing and the walnut sauce, there is a lot of information that make you think that everything is just a culinary legend greeted and embraced with popular enthusiasm. I started researching the whole week to be certain of the publications that I have with the historical background, so I was in search of the material, calling the library at the National School of Anthropology and History, following tracks, until I could get the book I was looking for, thanks to very nice people that helped me obtain such materials. You can find information on the internet about the subject, but I needed to hold the original publications in my hands, to bring you an accurate data.
Here are some interesting facts on the subject in the following years:
-1849: In the City of Puebla was published in the form of booklets “The Cook’s Manual” (El Manual del Cocinero y La Cocinera), in which does not appear a recipe for “Chiles in Nogada” , only one recipe for Hen in Walnut Sauce. It’s also on the XVIII century kitchen books.
-1858: The Publication of the “Nuevo Cocinero Mexicano” in a dictionary form recorded a recipe for stuffed peppers in walnut sauce that included pork picadillo, covered with walnut sauce and garnished with pomegranate, and notes that the garnishing was optional.
– 1872:The Publication of “ La Cocinera Poblana” was released and also does the book “El Libro de Las Familias”, in which a recipe for walnut sauce for stuffed peppers and walnut sauce for peppers with ham, at this time the walnut sauce takes and important role.
-Late-nineteenth century XIX: Diario del Hogar (Home Journal) published a recipe for Cod Stuffed Peppers in walnut,where the walnut sauce, is not decorated with pomegranate seeds.
-Begins the twentieth century XX: The Chiles en Nogada recipe,still not appearing regularly in the small cookbooks known as “recetarios”, only a recipe for the more common stuffed peppers appears as we know then today.
-1930: In this year the culinary documents begin to register the recipe. Mercedes de la Parra and Professor Ana Maria Hernandez in their respective works recorded the recipe as we know it nowadays.
-1942: The writer Agustin Aragon Leiva described in his “Diccionario de Recetas de Cocina”, a dish described as a masterpiece of the Mexican Cuisine, making it clear that it was created in honor of Agustin de Iturbide, a Mexican Emperor that lasted 11 months in Office after the War of Independence.
It seems that the legend of the “Chiles en Nogada” was the responsibility of two writers, Artemio del Valle Arizpe and Agustin Aragon y Leiva, both distinguished themselves in the period of the decades from 1930 to 1950 for engaging in historic culinary commentaries. Since then the story is found in different sources and stating categorically that the “Chiles en Nogada” were made in Puebla for the emperor of México.
Any culinary stories about how a dish was created is important because it tells us a lot about the people that made it. About his cooking, and their worldview.
It is interesting that when you join the cooking with the legend it results in confirming the nature of patriarchal and religious orientation of the country. The woman is assigned the role of inventor, and if it is closer to God, the better (as in Mexico, both the mole and Chiles en Nogada are attributed to nuns). On the other hand, the constant repetition of the legend does, according to the laws of the myths, that it will become an unquestionable and agreeable true.
Do not forget, however, that in terms of practical use, that “Chiles en Nogada” had been consumed for many years, a fact that doesn’t diminishes their quality of an aesthetic element of the Mexican cuisine.
Well, apart from historical discussions, Chiles en Nogada is unquestionably a Mexican dish, and it brings in its creation the national colors, is a dish that should never be missing to show up at the table of the Mexican Independence Celebrations, is for others to talk about the exquisite of this preparation.
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