My friend Yunuen and I often find ourselves on long trips through rural Mexico. I often mention some Mexican tradition and she looks at me like I’m crazy. Despite being friends for years now, she’s still surprised when some bit of half information comes to the surface of my brain.
Chia! I blurted out loud once. What about chia?
“What would you do with chia?”, she asked, probably still thinking most of us here drink Red Bull exclusively, despite what I’ve told her.
Seasoned travelers to Mexico know chia as an ingredient in an agua fresca. Basically, it’s lime-aid with chia seeds added. As the seeds get saturated, within a few minutes, they start to ooze a funky gelatinous blob and the seeds are almost suspended in the drink. The slight texture is nice but apparently it’s incredibly healthy; even containing those precious Omega 3’s. When she went looking for it in Mexico, she was told most of the production now is out of the country and that there were only 60 acres near Puebla for production. Well, of course this sounds like the exact kind of thing we want to import, so now we have chia seeds. And of course buying it encourages more farmers to grow it.
Susan, our General Manager, was making poppy seeds and reached for the chias by mistake and it was perfectly pleasant, although I don’t know if the seeds have the same nutritive properties when baked.
Cristina Potters and I were eating a smart meal in DF and I mentioned chia and she immediatley told me about her yoghurt treat she makes with chia. I tried it recently and it was great, epecially if you’re already a morning yoghurt fan. She shares her technique on her Mexico Cooks! blog.