You Say Posole, I Say Pozole
I was going to post about the tradition of making a posole for Christmas Eve. For me, it's easy, delicious and a nice contrast to the inevitably debauched feast that awaits us the next day. An article on Serious Eats sidetracked me. The posole recipe looks great but the ingredient list contains "1 pound dried white flint corn" with no other instructions for treating the corn. Posole is hominy, pure and simple. The corn has been treated by soaking it in cal and then rinsed. In the southwest, there is a dried flint corn that has been treated like this and in English, we call it Prepared Hominy and in Mexico it's known as nixtamal. We sell Prepared Hominy. My recipe for Posole Verde is here. Just to confuse things, in America, the corn and the finished dish are called posole. In Mexico, only the finished dish is called pozole. In the southwest, you can buy posole dried (as I describe above), frozen or canned. You can also buy friend flint corn but you'll need to treat it, which isn't hard. In Mexico, the dried, treated hominy (or nixtamal) isn't available, or at least I've never seen it. My guess is that the author isn't aware of how regional the prepared hominy is or maybe she's not even aware that she's using it. Regarding making nixtamal, she writes, "Doing this is more important for making tamales and tortillas by hand, but not so much for corn soups. I don't find that the skin makes an unpleasant addition to the texture, and the kernels do bloom by themselves with stewing." If you look at the photo of the corn, it's clearly nixtamal, without the skin. It's all may seem a little confusing but it's nothing compared to grits in the south. You get some great debates on that subject. Is it simply coarse polenta or is it hominy?