Horchata

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Two large jars of aguas frescas in a taquería in Seattle, Washington, 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 (/ɔrˈɑːtə/; 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).

Contents

Etymology

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.[1]

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!")[2][3]

Spain

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[4] 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.

Latin America

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.

United States

In the U.S., rice-based or morro horchata is served in many Mexican restaurants, and the horchata de chufas (tigernut) is virtually unknown.[citation needed] Rice-based horchata is also sometimes available in U.S. grocery and convenience stores.

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ Valencia & the Costa Blanca, Miles Roddis, Lonely Planet, 2002, ISBN 1-74059-032-5 Google Books
  3. ^ MTV Spain, Fernando Gayesky, Elizabeth Gorman, Kristin Luna, Andre Legaspi, Frommer's, 2007, ISBN 0-7645-8772-2 Google Books
  4. ^ http://www.chufadevalencia.org

External links