Pozole Rojo

Country: Mexico

Story: Pozole, which means “hominy”, is a traditional stew from Mexico. It is made from hominy, meat (typically pork), and can be seasoned and garnished with shredded lettuce, chile peppers, onion, garlic, radishes, avocado, salsa or limes. Pozole is typically served on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the new year.

Since maize was a sacred plant for the Aztecs and other inhabitants of Mesoamerica, pozole was made to be consumed on special occasions. The conjunction of maize (usually whole hominy kernels) and meat in a single dish is of particular interest to scholars, because the ancient Americans believed the gods made humans out of masa. According to research by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, on these special occasions, the meat used in the pozole was human. After the prisoners were killed by having their hearts torn out in a ritual sacrifice, the rest of the body was chopped and cooked with maize, and the resulting meal was shared among the whole community as an act of religious communion. After the Conquest, when cannibalism was banned (including here at Alma de Amon), pork became the staple meat as it “tasted very similar” to human flesh.

The three main types of pozole are white, green and red. Here at Alma we serve red pozole made from one or more chiles, such as guajillo, piquin, or ancho. When pozole is served, it is accompanied by a wide variety of condiments, potentially including chopped onion, shredded lettuce, sliced radish, cabbage, avocado, limes, oregano, tostadas, chicharrón, or chiles.

Preparation: All of the ingredients are placed in a pot and stewed on low heat for a long amount of time. This lets the meat become very tender and allows for the deep flavors to develop. When ready it is garnished with radish, cilantro, lime and white onion.