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Facts on Horchata

Horchata or orxata is the name for several kinds of vegetable beverages, made of ground almonds, rice, barley or tigernuts (chufas).

The name comes from Valencian orxata, probably from ordiata, made from ordi (barley) (Latin *hordeata/hordeum). The French and English 'orgeat', the Italian 'orzata', and the Surinamese Dutch orgeade have the same origin, though the beverages themselves have diverged, and none of them are typically made from barley anymore.

According to a folk etymology, James I of Aragon was offered a glass of the beverage by an Arab girl after his conquest of Valencia, and exclaimed, Aixo es or, xata! (This is gold, girl!).

In Spain, it usually refers to orxata de xufes (horchata de chufas), made from tigernuts, water and sugar. Originally from Valencia, it is served ice cold as a refreshment. It has a regulating council[2] to ensure the quality of the product and the villages where it can come from, with the Denomination of Origin. The village of Alboraia is well known for the quality of their horchatas. The idea of making horchata from tigernuts comes from the period of Muslim presence in Valencia (from the 8th to 13th century).

Latin America
In Mexican cuisine, horchata is a rice based beverage. While the drink is usually white and "milky" it can be made dairy-free through the use of blanched almonds, though some recipes call for milk. Other ingredients often include sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, orange or lime. Though horchata was once typically homemade, it is now available in both ready-to-drink (shelf-stable or refrigerated) and powdered form in grocery stores. In the US, rice-based horchata is served in some Mexican restaurants, and the horchata de chufas is virtually unknown.

The horchata found in Ecuador is similar to the Mexican kind, but sesame seeds are used instead of almonds. In El Salvador, horchata is typically flavored with ground cocoa and cinnamon as well as sesame seeds, and in some cases is strained; this style is served in Salvadorean restaurants, particularly in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


  Copyright © 2006 Andy's Market. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Horchata".

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