Tascalate: A Liquid Chronicle of Chiapas’ Past and Present
Welcome, fellow explorers, to a journey through time and flavor as we delve into the rich gastronomic culture of Chiapas, Mexico.
So, prepare your taste buds for a tantalizing exploration, and let’s venture into the heart of Chiapas to sip the past and discover the cultural richness that makes Tascalate more than just a drink—it’s a liquid history waiting to be savored.
What is Tascalate?
It is said that the first record of this drink dates back to 1566; this is found in the journal of Bishop Diego de Landa, where he mentions that the people of Chiapas consumed Tascalate regularly.
In those times, religious and romantic attributions were not lacking in this drink.
Nowadays, Tascalate is made with roasted corn, chili, chocolate, pine nuts, cinnamon, and piloncillo.
With the passage of time and the Spanish conquest of indigenous territory, the original recipe changed, but the preparation of the pre-Hispanic drink continued.
Tascalate is taken cold; the reddish powder (resulting from grinding all ingredients) is dissolved in water or milk and served with ice.
You can enjoy it in the morning, midday, afternoon, or evening. Many drink it hot as if it were hot chocolate.
Thanks to its natural ingredients, Tascalate provides health benefits such as improving blood circulation, slowing aging, and as an energy booster.
Tascalate is fresh, sweet, spicy, and with a touch of achiote; I’m serious, you won’t want to miss it!
How is Tascalate prepared?
Tascalate’s base is corn. Keep in mind that when visiting these southern cities, you will come across another similar beverage called Pozol (don’t get confused).
The most common and easier way to make tascalate at home is to buy the powder in any Chiapas market.
But in case you don’t find it (or want to make it from scratch), these are the ingredients:
- Corn tortilla
- Cocoa powder
- Start by roasting the corn tortillas depending on the amount of tascalate powder you want to make
- Once the tortillas are toasted you will need to grind them, the easiest is to use a blender
- In the same blender or food processor add the cinnamon, sugar, and achiote powder to mix all the ingredients and create a homogeneous powder that will turn a reddish color (a characteristic color of the achiote)
- Some people add pine nuts or peanuts to give it an earthy flavor, it is completely optional
- Once you have your tascalate mix, fill a liter of water or milk in a pitcher and then add 3 or 4 tablespoons of tascalate powder
- Add sugar or sweetener to taste and finally, serve in a glass or pitcher with ice
I hope you get a chance to try this southern Mexican beverage. Simple as it sounds, it’s delicious!
The best place to find it is in local markets. Salud!