We all have our preferences when it comes to comfort food. The dishes that warm the soul and give us the feeling, for this moment at least, that everything is exactly how it should be. It’s often quite fascinating to see what constitutes comfort food across different cultures as well. This brings us to today’s highlight, Pozole, a beloved Mexican soup that means a lot to many.
Pozole, pronounced “poh-SOH-leh”, is a traditional Mexican soup steeped in rich history. Often serving as the centrepiece of family gatherings and celebrations, this flavourful concoction is much more than just a soup; it symbolises home, the ones you love, and the time you all spend together.
At the heart of pozole is hominy, dried maize (corn) kernels that have been treated with an alkali, often through a process called nixtamalization. The result is tender, puffy kernels that lend the soup its signature texture and taste.
Pozole comes in three main variations: Blanco (white), Rojo (red), and Verde (green). Pozole Blanco is simply the preparation without any additional red or green sauce. The red version, deriving its striking hue from the addition of dried chillies, is a warm and aromatic broth. The green one on the other hand gets its vibrancy from ingredients like tomatillos and green chilies.
What’s great about pozole is the sheer array of garnishes and condiments that accompany it. Common toppings include shredded cabbage, radishes, diced onions, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and, of course, a generous sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco. You can choose what protein you’d like to go with it too, with tender shredded chicken and succulent pork proving popular options. Vegetarians need not be left out, with vegetarian recipes being available everywhere you’d care to look. That really is the beauty of it – in pozole, anything goes!
It’s eaten as a day-to-day meal but is such an intrinsic part of Mexican culture that you’ll often find it served during celebrations like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Mexican Independence Day, birthdays, and just about any other festive occasion you can think of. Try making some yourself today and getting into the Mexican spirit!