If you are staying at Royal Resorts this September, you really must try one of Mexico’s most delicious traditions at Hacienda Sisal restaurant, chiles en nogada. This show stopping dish from Puebla consists of mild poblano chilies with a savory-sweet meat filling served in creamy walnut sauce sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and parsley. It is being served as part of the Mexican Culinary Experiences by Royal Resorts festival.
A classic dish for September, Independence month in Mexico, chiles en nogada represents the colors of the Mexican flag, red, white and green. The recipe originated in 1821 when General Agustín de Iturbide visited the city of Puebla after signing the Treaty of Córdoba, the agreement that gave Mexico its Independence from Spain. He decided to celebrate his saint’s day in the city: August 28, the day of St Augustine, and the city’s elders held a banquet in his honor.
The nuns of Santa Monica Convent were caught up in the fervor and patriotism of his visit and created a special dish for the dinner, commemorating the birth of a nation. They used seasonal ingredients such as walnuts and pomegranates and, to this day, chiles en nogada are served in restaurants and homes throughout Puebla and Mexico in August and September.
Poblano chilies are stuffed with a filling of ground pork and beef cooked with chopped dried and fresh fruit (raisins, citron, peach and apple), spices, garlic and onion. The chilies are topped with a sauce made from ground walnuts, almonds and sherry. Pomegranate seeds, chopped cilantro and parsley garnish the dish.
Try chiles en nogada and don’t stop there. Hacienda Sisal also offers dishes ranging from Oaxaca-style mole and Veracruz-style fish casserole to Cochinita Pibil from the Yucatan, pork marinated in achiote spice mix and Seville orange juice wrapped in banana leaves and cooked until it falls off the bone. A world of flavors, textures, herbs and spices, a marriage of ingredients from the Old World and the New, you’ll soon discover why UNESCO declared Mexican cuisine World Heritage in the intangible culture category. Buen provecho!
Hacienda Sisal restaurant is open daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Live Mexican music on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday Brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Located in Cancun Hotel Zone next to The Royal Sands.
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