Toasted Rice and Almond Horchata

Horchata is a sweet, rich agua fresca commonly prepared throughout Mexico.  It was brought to Mexico by the Spanish and originates from Valencia, Spain where it was prepared with chufa or tiger nuts.  While horchata has become known as a typically Mexican beverage the drink is prepared in various European countries as well as Central and South America and can be prepared with a base of barely, sesame seeds, cantaloupe seeds and/ fresh fruit.  The most common version of Mexican horchata is made with rice and cinnamon.  

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Tart Tamarind Drink

This is a classic Mexican drink found in street stands, markets, restaurants and homes all over the country.  It’s tart, refreshing and goes perfectly with spicy dishes.

Tamarinds are pod-like fruits, grown on trees and filled with a sweet, tangy pulp.   In addition to Mexico, it’s used in Asia, especially in India and Thailand, as well as in African, and Central and South American cuisines.

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Prickly Pear, Lime and Chia Drink

This drink combines three very important ingredients that have played a significant role in Mexican cuisine for centuries: prickly pear fruit, lime and chia seeds.

Prickly pears or cactus fruit are grown throughout the Americas, Europe as well as Northern Africa, however the largest producer worldwide of this spiny fruit is Mexico.  Prickly pears have a thick skin covered with delicate, transparent thorns and are filled with a juicy meaty fruit interspersed with lots of hard black seeds.  Depending on the variety they can be green, yellow, orange or a deep red.  They are in season in Mexico during the summer months and are frequently sold in fresh fruit stands in large plastic cups, pealed and served with chile and lime juice. Additionally, they are also used to prepare juices and salsas among other things depending on the region.

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