Horchata: the Many Versions of Latin America’s Favorite Drink
Depending on what hispanic country you hail from, the word horchata can mean an entirely different thing to you.
A lot of people don’t know that there are actually many different variants of the milky, frothy beverage, and we here at Secret Salsa want to dish the 411 on Latin America’s most comforting drink!
The origins of the drink come from what is known as horchata de chufa, from Valencia, Spain. Chufa is tigernut in Spanish, and it’s prepared pretty much like any nut derived milk: blended with water, sugar, a bit of lemon and sometimes cinnamon.
The most popular version of them all is this rice infusion that either soaks or blends the grain together with vanilla, always using cinnamon.
Another version of the drink is made in El Salvador with seeds from morro-- a green, hard-shelled fruit that looks like a coconut--and sometimes adding chufa to the mix. Traditionally, this horchata is garnished with cocoa nibs, delicioso!
Nicaragua and Honduras
In these countries, the drink is known as semilla de jícaro, because it’s made from ground jícaro seeds, rice and spices mixed with cold milk and sugar. The texture is silky smooth!
In the Caribbean island, it’s known as horchata de ajonjolí, because the main ingredient is ground sesame seeds, soaked overnight in boiled water with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks. After sitting, the water is squeezed through cheesecloth and usually served with… you guessed it, rum!
This one is the most distinct out of all of the horchatas, because unlike its milky counterparts, this is a refreshing reddish tea drink brewed from a mix of herbs and flowers.
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