More Chilean than Mote con Huesillos

You know that old expression, “That’s as American as apple pie”? Well it turns out that Chileans have their own version of this phrase: “Eso es más chileno que mote con huesillos!” or “That’s more Chilean than mote con huesillos!”

Since the National Holliday was this week, mote con huesillos have been everywhere! So of course, being the curious tourist that I am, I had to try one.

Mote con Huesillos
Mote con Huesillo

Personally, it was a little sweet for me (I’m a unsweated tea and black coffee kinda girl) and when I looked up the recipe later I saw why.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces dried peach halves
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • Whole cinnamon stick
  • Lemon or orange peel
  • 1 cup pearled barley or wheat berries, cooked

DIRECTIONS

Combine dried peaches and water and soak overnight in refrigerator to rehydrate. 

Cook sugar in a large pot over medium heat, moving pan frequently but not stirring until the sugar melts and takes on a light amber hue.
Move off the heat and add one cup of the soaking water from the peaches.
Stir over medium heat until the caramel has dissolved.
Add the remaining soaking water, peaches, cinnamon stick and lemon (or orange) peel.
Return to a simmer and cook until tender (about 30 minutes).
Cool to room temperature then chill until cold. 

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooked barley or wheat berries to the bottom of a tall glass. Add 2 to 3 peach halves and top off with juice. Stir in additional sugar or honey to taste. Serve with a spoon to break up the peaches and scoop out the grains.
The really interesting thing about this drink is that people often eat it with a spoon, rather than drinking it. It’s almost more of a dessert than a drink.
I’m glad I got to experience the food item that embodies Chile, but If I were to make it at home, I think I would use a little less sugar.
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