Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Horchata de Melon (Melon-Seed Drink)

I am posting this recipe for my friend Emily, who asked if I had a good Horchata recipe. I don't believe I've ever actually had horchata, but this recipe is from a very reputable cookbook, Diana Kennedy's The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, so it's worth a try. I hope she'll try it and let us know how it is. Or I will. (or if any of you does, please let us know)

I have a feeling this may not be exactly what you're looking for, Em, but you never know. I'll keep looking, too...I think the rice/almond mixture sounds kind of good, so now I want to try that one too.

Diana writes: Horchata, a milky-looking drink originally made of almonds or a small white tuber called chufa, was brought from Spain to Mexico, where it became popular in the Yucatan. There it is generally made by soaking and grinding raw rice, often with the addition of a few almonds, then straining and serving over ice. It is considered delicious, healthy and refreshing, but what drink wouldn't be refreshing in that heat? I had always thought it was just plain dull--but there are always surprises in Mexico.

After lunch one day at a friend's house, I went back to the kitchen and saw that the maids were saving the seeds from the cantaloupes that we had been eating for lunch. They were going to make horchata from the seeds. Some cooks rinse, drain, and dry the seeds, but I think this is the most delicious version of all.

Horchata de Melon
Melon-Seed Drink
Serves 1

Scrape the center fleshy part from 1 cantaloupe, seeds and juice included, into a measuring cup, and for every cup add:

1 cup cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or to taste

Put all the ingredients together in a blender jar and blend until very smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1/2 hour, then strain through a fine strainer and serve over ice cubes.


Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

I have never heard of this,

sounds... sorry, sounds horrible

Min said...

I've heard of it but never had it...actually to me, the rice/almond variation sounds better than this melon one. Considering I'm a girl who once served Pickled Pigs Feet Tacos to her high school Spanish class (remember that project, Steve?), I'll try just about anything. And Diana Kennedy is well-respected. You never know until you try it, right? I'll report back...

Amy said...

This drink isn't horrible, and it isn't weird. It's delicious! I've been making it for years, wouldn't dream of composting melon seeds outright, and am in fact drinking a glass right now. It tastes like a creamy melon-almond milk smoothie, only thinner and more thirst-quenching rather than thick and pulpy. The key, of course, is to carefully strain out all of the solids. Try it just once -- no risk involved -- and you may find yourself surprised!

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