Glossary of the Cuisine of Aguascalientes: A Guide to the Region's Unique Ingredients and Dishes

Explore the unique ingredients and dishes of Aguascalientes cuisine with this comprehensive glossary. From the Ahuate thorn to the Capirotada dessert, discover the flavors and textures of traditional dishes and ingredients found in the region's cuisine.

Glossary of the Cuisine of Aguascalientes: A Guide to the Region's Unique Ingredients and Dishes
Fresh avocado and lemon slices cut by a knife on the table. Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Aguascalientes is a state in the middle of Mexico that is known for its diverse and unique dishes and ingredients. From the ahuate, a small, irritating thorn found on many plants, to the capirotada, a dessert that combines different ingredients with fried bread and syrup, the region's food traditions offer a wide range of tastes and textures.

This glossary explains some of the most important ingredients and dishes in the food of Aguascalientes, such as the arepa, which is a type of cornbread, and the Catarina chile, which is a spicy dry chile that grows in the area.

Additionally, you will also find here traditional Mexican ingredients like guacamole and some traditional drinks like Jamaica, which is a refreshing infusion prepared with the purple calyxes of a malvaceous plant common in the interior of the state and is very popular for its pleasant and refreshing flavor. Whether you are a foodie or just want to learn more about the food of Aguascalientes, this glossary will help you.

Glossary of The Cuisine of Aguascalientes

Ahuate (aguate). small and irritating thorns, almost imperceptible, that cover some plants. Sugar cane, most cacti, certain fruits, and other plants contain ahuates.

Arepa. Pie, cornbread.

Arrayán. Myrtus arrayan is the common name for a bush of a species related to the guava tree and its acidulous fruits, which are used to make sweet pastries and other sweets.

Capirotada. dessert or sweet that combines very diverse ingredients (peanuts, almonds, etc.) with fried bread, piloncillo syrup, and, frequently, cheese, in water or milk.

Cardamomo. a shrub of the Zingiberaceae family and its fruit, whose seeds, in addition to having certain medicinal effects (tonic and carminative), are used as a condiment.

Colonche. Liquor is obtained by macerating the red prickly pear (cardona) with sugar.

Cuitlacoche (huitlacoche). a parasitic fungus that invades the corn cobs. Despite its unattractive appearance, it is tasty when roasted or stewed.

Ancho chile. A classic of the Mexican kitchen, it is part of moles and diverse marinades; it is of a brown or dark red color and, in general, is not very spicy. The poblano chile is fresh and green. In Aguascalientes, it is also known as "chile joto," perhaps because it does not sting too much.

Chile caribe. Spicy and perfumed, it is a fresh chile—a variety of the chile güero—of 4 to 5 cm in length, conical, yellow, or green lemon color that, as it matures, tends to be orange. It is cultivated in Aguascalientes.

Chile Catarina (catarinita). Originally from Aguascalientes, it is a spicy dry chile, of elongated shape and reddish sepia color; it is used in sauces and marinades.

Chile chino. variety of the ancho chile has a darker color, almost black, wrinkled skin, and is much more piquant than this one. It is sold in the markets in the center of the republic.

Guajillo chile. It is produced almost everywhere in the country, but there are regional differences. Fresh fruit can be green, yellow, or red. It is usually consumed dry; it measures between 1 and 11 cm, and then it presents a sepia-reddish tone. In general, it is spicier when it is smaller; the large size provides mainly color and flavor.

Chile güero. The denomination is applied to a fleshy chili, generally of conical form. Some are slightly spicy and perfumed.

Chile mirasol. variety of the chile guajillo also called the chile puya. It is a fresh, spicy, and oval-shaped chile, which receives its name because the plant faces the sun.

Chile verdeño. a species of poblano chile, of paler green color.

Esquites. Fried corn kernels with salt, epazote, and chili powder; the term also refers to the comal-toasted corn kernels that pop on fire (popcorn).

Gorditas. Traditionally, and usually in the plural, the word is applied to certain corn tortillas that are thicker and, in general, smaller than the common ones, which are usually kept soft for a longer time.

Guacamole. Mexican salad or sauce is made with the ground or chopped pulp of the avocado, to which finely chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, green chili, etc. are added.

Guava. Guava fruit (tree of the Myrtaceae family), native to America; it is edible, valued, and has medicinal properties due to the tannins it contains.

Huauzontle (guauzoncle). Vegetables from the Quenopodiáceae family. The leaves and the still-tender flowers are used. When dried, they can be preserved for up to one year.

Huesitos. Cinnamon-flavored milk candies.

Jamaica. A drink or refreshing infusion prepared with the purple calyxes of a malvaceous plant, common in the interior of the republic, is very popular for its pleasant and refreshing flavor. It has diuretic qualities.

Jericalla (jericaya, papín). Sweet is prepared in a bain-marie, mainly with milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.

Jícama. a tuberous root in the shape of a big onion, about 15 cm in diameter, fleshy and with a fibrous cover; of fresh, sweet, and watery flavor, it is usually taken raw, seasoned only with salt, chili powder, or lemon.

Jocoque (jocoqui). thick cream-like preparation made with cut milk or sour cream.

Mamón. It refers to a soft sponge cake made of flour and eggs; a type of marzipan that can take syrup.

Marquesote. The cake is a light sponge cake made of rice or corn flour that is usually cut into diamond-shaped pieces; it requires eggs and sugar and is baked.

Memela. A tortilla is thicker than a regular tortilla, oval in shape, and always accompanied by some ingredients: cheese tortillas, chili tortillas, and so on.

Pan dulce. There are appetizing and diverse daily sponge cakes in Aguascalientes, for breakfast or snack. Among them, cocoles, chamucos, gorditas de cuajada, ladrillos, panochas, puchas, semitas, etcetera.

Peneques. A kind of canuto or barquichuela made of corn dough and filled with ground beans, lima beans, cottage cheese, or other stews that is eaten with a spicy tomato broth.

Picón. sponge cake or flour bread with eggs and sugar, round or conical in shape, and with peaks.

Pirulí. Sweet: pointed candy, of conical form with diverse flavors and brilliant colors.

Rompope. Smooth and creamy yellow liquor made with milk, eggs, sugar, rum, cinnamon, or vanilla.

Totopo (totoposte). A golden tortilla, of thin dough with a single body, is taken as a cookie.

Uvate. sweet grapes cooked with must or sweet grape paste.

Xoconostle (soconoscle). Tuna, acid, which is used as a condiment or ingredient in some sauces and dishes, as well as in the preparation of syrup sweets.

Yescas. Pieces of pork rind from cattle.