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Feb 27, 2007 12:50 PM

Pozol, atole, tascalate & other corn-based drinks

In a topic about a SF Bay Area Yucatan restaurant, someone mentioned pozol ... not the soup pozole.

How many variations of corn based drinks are there? Who has more info about pozol and how it differs from atole.

From what I read, pozol can be fermented too.

Here's some info on pozol. Is this a drink in Chiapas or Tabasco or various locations?

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  1. I bought a Peruvian purple corn based drink from El Tigre called 'Chica Morado' I believe, I havent tried it yet however.

    Not corn based but I know a drink is made of this squash in Oaxaca:

    Discovered 'Tejate' last night:
    "Oaxaca's traditional energy drink is tejate, "the drink of the gods." This beverage was originally served to the ruling elite of Zapotec society. Tejate is usually served in markets in lovely hand-painted, gourd bowls called jicaras.

    Like most Oaxacan delicacies, tejate's ingredient list is complex. The libation is made from corn, roasted cacao beans, mamey seed and rosita flowers (flor cacahuaxochitl). The ingredients are blended in a thick mass, which is gradually thinned with water. Tradition calls for this process to be done by hand and the tejateras' arm does the mixing."

    hope this helps rworange.

    if your still hungy for corn, how 'bout some ice cream:

    These are awesome pictures of Oax markets. Great Resource.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kare_raisu

      Chicha morada is the unfermented corn and fruit (pineapple etc) based drink - 'morada' because of dark color of the corn. An instant powder can be found in the Peruvian section of latino shops.

      Chicha or chicha de jora is the fermented corn drink of the Andes. Occasionally a young version of the beer can be found in latino shops.


    2. We drank gallons of chicha morada with ceviche in Pucallpa, Peru, coming in from the field. With a ceviche lunch, you have to have fried yuca, cooked camote, red onion with the ceviche itself, and chicha morada.

      Atole: a must with tamales for breakfast in Chiapas and elsewhere.

      1. A version of atole is champurrado.

        The instant versions of atole are usually thickened with corn starch, while the champurrado is masa harina based. Champurrado is also distinguished (usually) by being chocolate flavored.


        3 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          Funny, the street champurado person comes by here sometimes in Cali. It isn't very good (and is not chocolate flavored) so I never made a mental connection between it and stuff like atole.

          Instant chicha morada?? Instant atole??

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Maizena is a common brand of flavored atole mixes

            "Marca Maizena® de sabores en ocho presentaciones: Fresa, Vainilla, Chocolate, Nuez, Coco, Guayaba, Canela y Cajeta. Consiste en fécula de maíz saborizada, enriquecida con Vitaminas y Minerales. Su uso consiste en la preparación de atole y malteadas."

            Janita's makes a champurrado mix, using masa harina

            Actually, it may be 'mazamorra morada', the thickened pudding made with chicha morada that I've seen as mix.


            1. re: paulj

              Wow! I just reviewed the Colombian part of the amigofoods site. Probably, the stuff is all available in the grocery store, but I've never bought any of it. I will, however, look for instant mazamorra and champurado next I go to La 14. I'll let you know. Fun!

        2. At a Oaxacan restaurant in Watsonville, we tried the atole and champurrado. Husband described the atole as "runny grits." The atole was served w/ a chunk of Mexican brown sugar on the side. I liked the champurrado better than the atole, but didn't really care for either. Texture was too "mucous-like" for me; kind of that in between drink and food that didn't work for me. Not sure if these were just bad versions, so I'll def. try them again elsewhere to compare. I could see how they'd be good for breakfast on a cold morning...

          Atole photo:

          Champurrado photo:

          Very tangentially related, but I wanted to mention that I just tried Vosges' Aztec Elixir from their Couture Cocoa line last night. It's essentially hot chocolate infused w/ ancho and chipotle chiles, Mexican vanilla beans, and cinnamon. Interesting thing is that it's thickened w/ what they term "maize powder" aka cornmeal. It was very nice but VERY rich for me. I couldn't drink much. Out of their three cocoas, I think I like La Parisienne best.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Carb Lover

            My experience with atole has been disappointing too. However Melanie Wong recently reported on an atole she tried and did not like. She said for the first time she understood what I meant when I described it as 'tasting like dishwater'.

            That leads me to believe ther are good versions of atole out there.

            1. re: rworange

              Atole, at least the version made with corn starch, is essentially a thin pudding, but with flavors like walnut (nuze) and cinnamon, rather than vanilla. It may not be as sweet as typical American desert version either. The version made with masa isn't as smooth.



              1. re: paulj

                Again, nothing like a cup of atole, a cup of coffee, and a couple of different types of tamales from the sellers on the corners where the buses take off in highland Chiapas at 600 am.

              2. re: rworange

                Dishwater is a pretty good description. The atole that I had had a flavor and consistency that was perceived as "dirty" to me, making me kind of nauseous. It def. seems like an acquired taste, although I'm hopeful there are better versions out there...

            2. Tejuino is a corn based drink. It's made from fermented corn, very mildly alcoholic, you won't taste the ferment or get a buzz from it. It's been likened to cold atole, but I don't think that's such an apt description. In Jalisco it's often made with added salt and lemon and served with a lemon nieve. It's refreshing and delicious. I've had the Jalisco version, but variations are also readily found in Aguascalient, Colima, Sonora and, I've been told, Chiapas.