Posole (or pozole) is a soup or stew that’s commonly served in New Mexico and West Texas. It originated in Mexico, but became popular in New Mexico around 1900.
Pozole (from Spanish pozole, from Nahuatl potzolli; variant spellings: posole, posolé, pozolé, pozolli, posol) is a traditional pre-Columbian soup or stew made from hominy, with pork (or other meat), chile, and other seasonings and garnish, such as cabbage,lettuce, oregano, cilantro, avocado, radish, lime juice, etc. There are a number of variations on pozole, including blanco (white or clear), verde (green), de frijol (with beans), and elopozole.
The process of treating maize with lime to remove the hard outer hulls is called nixtamalization.
The story of pozole is obscure, but some believe that the stew originated with the natives of Tonalá, Jalisco. After the arrival of the conquistadores, Tonalá’s legendary queen Cihualpilli threw a banquet in their honor and pozole was served. After the priests found out the secret behind the recipe (human flesh), a decision was made to change the human flesh for pig’s. Pozole spread throughout New Spain with variations in different regions according to local tastes.
In modern times, pozole is eaten both in Mexico and the southwestern United States, particularly the state of New Mexico. It (or something like it) has been served for centuries by native cultures in southern North America.
WEBSTER’S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY OF CULINARY ARTS (1997, second edition 2001), pg. 364:
posole; pozole (poh-SOH-leh) A Mexican soup of pork and broth, hominy and onions, flavored with garlic, chiles and cilantro and garnished with lettuce, onions, cheese and cilantro.
POZOLE (SANTA FE SUPPER)
2 cans (1 lb. 13 oz. each) hominy, drained
About 3 qt. reg. strength chicken broth
2 1/2 lb. boned pork shoulder or butt (fat trimmed), cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 med. size onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tbsp. ground dry New Mexico or chiles, or chili powder
1/2 tsp. each dry oregano leaves and pepper
Roasted chilies or 1 can (7 oz.) diced green chilies
Sour cream and green onions (optional)
In a 5 to 6 quart pan, combine pork, onion, garlic, ground chilies, oregano, pepper and 1 cup broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer rapidly on medium heat for 30 minutes. Uncover pan; stir often on medium-high heat until broth evaporates meat is streaked with brown and drippings are richly browned. Add 1 cup broth and stir drippings free. Add hominy, 8 cups broth and roasted chilies.
Bring mixture to a boil, cover and simmer gently until pork is very tender when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours. Add salt, sour cream and green onions to taste. If made ahead, cool, then cover and chill up to 3 days.
Makes about 3 1/2 quarts, 6 to 8 servings.
Place 1 pound fresh poblano (also called pasilla) or chilies in a rimmed 10 x 15 inch pan. Broil 2 to 3 inches below heat until skins are charred, about 7 minutes. Turn chilies; broil until charred, about 4 minutes longer. Drape with foil and let cool. Pull off and discard skins, stems and seeds; rinse chilies and chop.
21 November 1909, New York Times, “Denies There’s Salvery in Yucatan,” pg. X9:
...he never tasted their everyday “atole” or “pozole,” nor that special brandy with anis which they so willingly drink;...
New Mexico Cookery
Issued by the Bureau of Publicity of the
State Land Office
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Special Chile Dishes...35
Frijoles or New Mexican Beans, Enchiladas. Chile con Carne, Chiles Rellenos con Queso, Rice New Mexico Style, Sopa de Fraile, Nopal con Chile, Tamales, Carne Adobada, Posole
The People of Mexico:
Who They Are and How They Live
by Wallace Thompson
New York: Harper & Brothers
Other corn-meal foods of Mexico are cocoles, chavacanes, and pemol. Cocoles are cakes or biscuits (Pg. 265—ed.) of corn meal, half an inch in thickness and two inches in diameter. They contain some shortening and are served hot. Chavacanes, which are better known, are a mixture of the corn meal with shortening and eggs. They are made up into fat round or square crackers, and cooked rapidly, as tortillas are. Pemol is a corn cake made from the same meal. In consistency it is not unlike Scotch shortbread, and it is made up in a variety of forms, from tiny cakes the size of a half dollar and a quarter of an inch in thickness, to large horseshoe loaves which are sold for special occasions and may be compared to German Kaffeekuchen. The gordas, or “fat ones,” are the Mexican sandwich, a thick layer of corn meal inclosing meat, chile, and frijoles, cooked, and eaten cold. Posole, corn meal in big balls, cooked and cooled, forms, like the gordas, a diet for long marches and particularly for long canoe trips where fires cannot be lighted. The Indians provided with this food are perfectly equipped for a trip of several days. The balls of meal are either eaten dry or mixed with to a gruel with water scooped up from the boatside in the gourd
or half coconut shell which, with this food supply and his blanket, constitute the Indian’s “outing equipment.”
30 January 1925, Albuquerque (NM) Morning Journal, pg. 3, col. 5:
Tortillas de Harina
Posole Chicharos Frijoles
Cerveza marca Budweiser
30 May 1926, New York Times, pg. XX9:
In northern Yucatan he found Indians putting out bowls of posole (a drink made or corn) as offerings to the Wind God.
December 1934, National Geographic Magazine, pg. 784, col. 2:
Outside, several persons lay dozing, while an old woman stirred a caldron of boiling corn called pozole.
24 December 1936, Port Arthur (TX) News, pg. 14, col. 2:
Bob Cooper and the Missus delighted a few friends Tuesday night with a chili, tamale and posole supper, which, according to the gourmands attending, was not only “um-yah-yah” but scrumptious delectable and fit for the Duke of Windsor.
November 1937, Scientific Monthly, pg. 465:
Mayas generally drink pozole, which consists of raw corn meal in cold water.
14 October 1938, Oakland (CA) Tribune, editorial pg., col. 3:
The noon day consisted of pozole, a gruel to which meat, beans, peas, lentils or garbanzos, were added according to the seasons of the year.
17 November 1938, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, pg. 6, col. 3:
Supper with posole, a native New Mexican delicacy as the chief menu item, will be served by the University of New Mexico Dames Club for their husbands on Dec. 3 in the Parent-Teacher Association building at the Stronghurst county school.
9 February 1941, Washington Post, pg. ?:
In Guadalajara the native dish is “pozole,” made with corn, meat and chili sauce.
31 May 1942, New York Times, “Fiery Dishes of the Southwest,” pg. D5:
Posole, made with hominy which is simmered all day long with fresh ham hocks, until the meat falls off the bones and disintegrates in the broth, calls for many hours of slow cooking. Chili, onions and garlic are finally added to garnish the dish when served. Albondigas are miniscule, peppery meatballs rolled in blue cornmeal and boiled for hours and hours, until a thick soup is formed. “Angel’s Dream”—the natives call it chiles rellenos—is huge peppers stuffed with chopped chicken and cheese, then dipped in a batter and deep-fried to a crispy brown.
23 July 1950, Washington Post, pg. 59:
Pozole soup, traditional around Guadalajara, is a hog’s head soup with cacahuazintle, dried sweet corn with dark blue or black kernels.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, November 30, 2006 • Permalink