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Restaurants offer new spin on Mexico’s 800-year-old dish

Mexico City, Mexico — Around Mexico, the month of September hosts Independence Day but also the country’s famous dish, chiles en nogada.

Cultivated by the Aztecs more than 800 years ago, chiles en nogada remains the dish-to-have during the month of September which is served specifically for the occasion. Restaurants around the country will prepare the labor-intensive dish starting mid-August to the end of September.

This year, in light of The Mexican War of Independence and the famous chiles en nogada, restaurants in Mexico City have created several new twists to the country’s famous food dish. This year, amaranth is the ingredient that will give the dish a unique taste.

The modernized dishes have been created by chefs in several restaurants of the Hyatt Regency and the Four Seasons hotels in Mexico City. The hotels will be serving their updated dishes on their patriotic menu until the end of September.

In addition to the traditional dish, diners will find the menu also includes a version of sushi in nogada, cajeta flan, buñuelos al viento and chochitos cookie with colors.

Photo: Hyatt Regency Mexico City

Sushi in Nogada is probably the most modernized with chefs calling it a fusion of typical Mexican flavors with contemporary Japanese cuisine. The roll consists of a filling very similar to chili in nogada with ground beef, almonds, raisins, apple, garlic, onion, cinnamon, peach in syrup, plátano and acitron.

On the outside it is partially wrapped in poblano chile and smothered in the traditional nogada sauce, which is made from the Nogal de Castilla or Castillan walnut.

Chiles en nogada (chiles in walnut sauce) is traditionally a dish that consists of poblano chilis filled with picadillo (a mixture of shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices) topped with a walnut-based cream sauce, called nogada and pomegranate seeds, giving it the three colors of the Mexican flag.

The traditional chile en nogada is from Puebla and is tied to the independence of the country since it is said they were prepared for the first time to entertain the future emperor Agustín de Iturbide when he came to the city after the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba.