Entry in progress—B.P.
Horchata or orxata is the name for several kinds of vegetable beverages, made of ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley or tigernuts (chufas).
The name comes from Valencian orxata, probably from ordiata, made from ordi (barley) (Latin *hordeata < hordeum). The French and English ‘orgeat’, the Italian ‘orzata’, and the Surinamese Dutch orgeade have the same origin, though the beverages themselves have diverged, and none of them are typically made from barley any more. One legend links the origins of the name to King Jaume I, who after being given the drink for the first time by a local in Alboraya, was said to have exclaimed “Això es or, xata!” ("That’s gold, girl!")
In Spain, it usually refers to orxata de xufes (horchata de chufas), made from tigernuts, water and sugar.
Originally from Valencia, the idea of making horchata from tigernuts comes from the period of Muslim presence in Valencia (from the 8th to 13th century).
It has a regulating council to ensure the quality of the product and the villages where it can come from, with the Denomination of Origin. Classics get an A. The village of Alboraia is well known for the quality of their horchata.
It is served ice cold as a natural refreshment in the summer. Tigernut horchata is also used in place of milk by the lactose intolerant.
While in some countries the drink is usually tan and “milky”, some recipes call for milk, and others do not. Other ingredients often include sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Though horchata was once typically homemade, it is now available in both ready-to-drink (shelf-stable or refrigerated) and powdered form in grocery stores.
In the US, rice-based or morro horchata is served in many Mexican restaurants, and the horchata de chufas (tigernut) is virtually unknown. Rice-based horchata is also sometimes available in US grocery and convenience stores, especially in Latino neighborhoods.
Horchata, together with tamarindo and jamaica, are the three typical drink flavors of Mexican aguas frescas.
In Puerto Rico, horchata is made of powdered sesame seeds, milk, cinnamon & vanilla.
The horchata found in El Salvador is often made of a mixture of herbs, not rice. The horchata is typically flavored with Morro (Calabash tree) seed, ground cocoa and cinnamon as well as sesame seeds, and in some cases is strained.
In Nicaragua and Honduras horchata refers to the drink known as semilla de jicaro, made from the Jicaro seeds ground up with rice and spices. The drink is made with cold milk and sugar and is very popular nationally. Recently Nicaragua has began exporting this product primarily to the United States.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
A popular Spanish and Latin-American chufa-flavoured soft drink.
1922 J. HERGESHEIMER Bright Shawl (1923) 63 She preferred rather than an ice, an orchata, and sipped it slowly.
1932 E. HEMINGWAY Death in Afternoon xx. 271 The taste of horchata, ice-cold horchata.
1968 J. M. WHITE Nightclimber ii. 9, I debate whether to order a horchata or a zumo de limón, and when the waiter arrives I ask for the latter.
1969 R. & D. DE SOLA Dict. Cooking 121/1
A Family Flight Through Spain
by Susan Hale
Boston, MA: D. Lothrop & Company
Tom, on the contrary, never acquired the language beyond ordering horchata de chufas in a cafe.
Face to Face with the Mexicans
by Fanny Chambers Gooch
New York, NY: Fords, Howard, & Hulbert
Horchata—known to us as orgeat—is made from muskmelon seed, beaten and strained, with sugar, some lemon juice, and a little cinnamon. Add ice, and you have a beverage to please the most fastidious.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, June 17, 2008 • Permalink