This article is about the beverage. For the song by Vampire Weekend, see Horchata (song)
Two large jars of aguas frescas
in a taquería
, USA. On the left is a jar of Jamaica
and on the right is a jar of horchata. Restaurant employees serve the drinks by ladling them from the jars into glasses.
A glass of horchata, Spain
Horchata (/ɔrˈtʃɑːtə/; Spanish: [oɾˈtʃata]) or orxata (Valencian: [oɾˈtʃata]) is the name of several kinds of traditional 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 Italian orzata, the French and English 'orgeat' and the Surinamese Dutch orgeade have the same origin, though the beverages themselves have diverged, and are generally no longer made from barley.
Various pseudo-etymologies exist – one legend links the origins of the name to James I of Aragon, who after being given the drink for the first time by a local in Alboraia, was said to have exclaimed in Catalan "Açò és or, xata!" ("That's gold, darling!")
In Spain, it usually refers to orxata de xufa (horchata de chufa), 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 eighth to thirteenth centuries).
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. The village of Alboraia is well known for the quality of its 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.
Horchata varies in taste across Latin America. Although the drinks may share the same name, the flavor of each is unique to its country of origin.
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. Horchata, together with tamarindo and jamaica, are the three typical drink flavors of Mexican agua frescas.
- In Mexico and Guatemala, horchata is made of rice, sometimes with vanilla and always with cinnamon.
- The horchata found in El Salvador is primarily made from morro seeds, not rice. Other common ingredients include ground cocoa, cinnamon, sesame seeds, nutmeg, tigernuts and vanilla. Other nuts that may also be used include peanuts, almonds and cashews. Because of these ingredients, the horchata is usually strained before serving.
- In Nicaragua and Honduras, horchata refers to the drink known as semilla de jicaro, made from the jicaro seeds ground with rice and spices. The drink is made with cold milk and sugar, and is very popular nationally. Recently, Nicaragua has begun exporting this product, primarily to the United States.
- In Puerto Rico, horchata is made with sesame seeds ground with rice, vanilla and cinnamon with either evaporated milk, milk or water. Some recipes call for coconut milk, allspice and rum.
- In Venezuela, horchata is generally called chicha, and the alcoholic variant is called chicha andina.
- In Ecuador, horchata is a clear red infusion of 18 herbs, and is most famous in the province of Loja.
- In Goa, horchata is called Orchat and is made from adding water to a crushed almond or cashew extract that is mixed with sugar. Previously a few families made orchat in small quantities for sale to neighbours and travellers; However, it is no longer produced today.
In the U.S., 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 U.S. grocery and convenience stores.
- ^ Lobscouse & Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels : Grossman, Anne Chotzinoff; Thomas, Lisa Grossman ISBN 0-393-04559-5
- ^ Valencia & the Costa Blanca, Miles Roddis, Lonely Planet, 2002, ISBN 1-74059-032-5 Google Books
- ^ MTV Spain, Fernando Gayesky, Elizabeth Gorman, Kristin Luna, Andre Legaspi, Frommer's, 2007, ISBN 0-7645-8772-2 Google Books
- ^ http://www.chufadevalencia.org