Pinole Azul (Heirloom Blue Corn Pinole)
Toasted heirloom blue corn is ground with canela and piloncillo for making a slightly sweet, rich drink.
Our pinole is a fascinating product made from ground heirloom blue corn in Mexico. Unlike most corn products, it's not made from nixtamal, the process of removing the skins with cal. With pinole, the corn is lightly toasted and then ground to a fine powder and mixed with a little piloncillo (raw sugar) and canela (true cinnamon).
First and foremost you can make a refreshing drink out of it by adding about 1 cup of pinole per liter of water. Start with cold water and allow it to boil for about five minutes. You then can add a little milk, almond milk or more flavors like fruits or nuts. The texture should be thick but very much a liquid. I've noticed the longer it cooks, the more velvety the texture, but if you decide to extend the cooking, you'll need to stir constantly to avoid scorching.
Possibly the most popular use for pinole is as a licking powder, like a pre-Colombian Pixie Stick. Add a little to the palm of your hand and go at it. Not very elegant but it's hard to stop once you've started.
Even with a small amount of sweetener, some cooks like to dip a chicken or turkey cutlet onto a plate of pinole mixed with salt and fresh ground pepper before pan frying. It sounds weird, but you may find it addictive. In fact you can use it as a flour substitute. Don't miss incredible pancakes made with pinole. You'll need to experiment to see what works for you but we suggest subbing a quarter cup of flour with pinole for each cup of flour you use.
THE RANCHO GORDO-XOXOC PROJECT
Product of Mexico. Produced in Mexico under the supervision of the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project.
This product includes a 5% "tariff" that will be donated to No More Deaths, a humanitarian aid group that provides water and other assistance to migrants and refugees along the US border. Rancho Gordo will be matching this amount as well. For more information, see our blog post.
Recipes and more information on Pinole Azul at Rancho Gordo.
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