Wordless Wednesday: Vienen las posadas

How do I know posadas are almost here? One of my favorite ingredients in ponche Navideño showed up on the shelves at my Mexican mercado this past weekend… tejocotes!

  • What’s the one ingredient you see in the grocery store that makes you think of the holidays?


    • says

      Nadia, they’re a stone fruit similar to a crab apple, so if you eat it raw the flesh is sort of bitter. But when you stew them in sugar or put them in ponche Navideño (a traditional Christmas punch), they impart a very distinct fruity flavor and aroma. They’re not widely grown in the U.S., and in fact, in the past, people used to smuggle them from Mexico. The reason they’re not imported fresh is because they can bring exotic pests that can ruin crops, so they’re on the no-go list. There are several growers that I know of in California, though, and I hope they’ll start shipping more so I can buy fresh ones! Christmas is not Christmas in my household without ponche Navideño, and since I can’t get tejocotes fresh in Chicago, I have to buy the kind in the jar or frozen ones, which lose a little bit of their flavor but still work.

  1. says

    Corn husk!!!! Especially now that they aren’t always available. I seriously have to hunt for them outside of November and December weirdest feeling because in Cali they are always available. However, when the holidays would be around the corner they would move them to the front of the store along with hominy(sp?) for pozole.

    • says

      Trisha, tejocotes are known in English as Mexican hawthorn, a kind of stone fruit similar to crab apples. They have firm flesh (not recommended to eat them raw) and a slightly thicker skin than an apple. They’re very fragrant and a key ingredient in ponche Navideño. If you check out the ponche recipe, there’s a link to an article that explains all about tejocotes. :)

  2. says

    Ok… I know about tejocotes but with a different name. For me, they are manzanillas and I love them so much, because my salvadorean granmother used to cook this fruit in syrup and I couldn´t help myself until I finished the whole pot. It was so good. Then she reduced the syrup until very thick, poured it in a square pan, and cut it in pieces that looked like jello. Many years later I learned that in Perú this are called nísperos de palo, and they cooked them in syrup, too. That discovery made me so happy.
    I saw this picture yesterday and went to a latin grocery store to buy tejocotes en almíbar. This are almost the same of my childhood, and I love you and thank you because your post is bringing back to me so loving memories.

    • says

      Morena, that sounds incredible! I hope you’ll write about nísperos de palo on Peru Delights. I would love to know more about the recipe! It’s so interesting how there are some things that we know and love that can evoke such strong memories. I hope you’re enjoying your tejocotes en almíbar! :)

  3. says

    When I think of holidays, I think of dried fruits and nuts that we eat on Christmas Eve in Serbia, accompanied by strong heated plum brandy (slivovitz).
    A Mexican neighbor brought me a big bag of guavas last December and I pestered my virtual Twitter friend from Mexico City for his mother’s recipe for ponche, until he caved:)
    Now you have me intrigued by this other exotic fruit:)

  4. says

    Here is the recipe: Cook 2 lb nísperos de palo (tejocotes) covered with water. When they are tender add 2 cups sugar for every quart of water and continue cooking over medium-low heat until it is syrupy. Let cool before taste it.
    Hope you like it.

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