A tale of two tepaches | Bleader

A tale of two tepaches

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dos tepaches
I must have developed cidrochephalus while drinking all those French apple ciders. I got to thinking how easy it is to develop your own hard cider. Just let some fresh stuff sit in the fridge for a week or so until it gets fizzy. So why not tepache?

In August Friend of the Food Chain Rob Lopata wrote a piece on the Mexican fermented pineapple cider for the Trib, but it didn't occur to me how easy it might be to make my own until Maricel E. Presilla's new cookbook Gran Cocina Latina thudded upon the doorstep. I'll have a bit more to say about this sprawling work next week, but this weekend I played around with her recipe for chicha de piƱa, which calls for nothing more than pineapple rinds, water, and sugar, a thrifty recipe that makes use of something that would otherwise go to waste. Presilla, who is Cuban, writes that her grandfather always had a jar of the stuff fizzing way in his kitchen, but that you can find fermented pineapple drinks in most tropical countries.

tepache ingredients

Diana Kennedy's recipe in Mexican Regional Cooking is slightly more involved and definitely more attractive, calling for whole chunks of fruit, crushed cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. You let this sit in the sun for about three days, then add piloncillo or brown sugar and a cup of light beer to kickstart fermentation. In two more days you strain and drink (Saveur adapted the recipe). I should be ready to test drive these by Halloween.

tepache n such, Pilsen

Mike Sula writes about cooking every Monday.

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