My gift to those of you celebrating Cinco de Mayo today was to be the best of all gifts (well, one of them anyway), it was to be the gift of something to think about. I wanted to give you Anglo-Mex food. Sadly, a prolonged search of English cookery books and newspapers produced a single recipe. It is from The Times, and although it is Mexican in name, I have to say that it is a recipe whose nationality is scarcely identifiable, a recipe which singlehandedly makes the whole authenticity debate utterly hilarious.
Dissolve 6 oz of loaf sugar in a pint of boiling water. Pour in by degrees a quarter of a pint each of sherry and of lemon juice. Then add three quarters of a pint of cold milk. Stir well and pass through a jelly bag until clear. Serve icy cold.
The Times, Monday, Jul 24, 1939.
The magnificent and thoroughly English Victorian tome - Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery (1892 ed) - did however ease the dearth of recipes with this description of a much more authentic (I think) Mexican beverage:
Pulque:- This is a beverage much delighted in by the Mexicans and inhabitants of
some parts of Central and South America. It is made from the juice of different species of agave. The juice is collected by cutting out the flowering stem just when it is beginning to grow from the midst of the leaves, and scooping a hole for the juice. The cavity being formed, large quantities of juice are removed daily from it for months. When fresh, pulque is an agreeable drink, but it is more frequently drunk after fermentation, when its taste is more
pleasant. The great drawback is a putrid smell, but one gets over that in time. Mixed
with water and sugar, and allowed to ferment for a few hours, pulque forms a beverage called
Quotation for the Day.
I never ask God for anything, I only ask him to put me where things are.
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