Estampas de Mi Ciudad – Tejate, the Drink of Kings

Tejatera. Tlacolula, Mexico. Photo credit: Chef Aldo Saavedra

With the precision of a natural event, spring after spring, dozens of tejateras (ladies who make tejate) descend upon the village of San Andrés Huayapán, a town about 15 miles away from the city of Oaxaca. The big colorful clay pots signal the beginning of La Feria del Tejate (Tejate’s Fair), one of Oaxaca’s many tributes to this ancestral drink.

Tejate is made with corn masa, cocoa beans, mamey fruit and the flower of the cocoa plant, also called “rosita de cacao” (little rose of cocoa). Expert tejate drinkers usually agree that the thicker the foam made by this flower, the better the tejate.

This cold drink is served in small handcrafted containers or jícaras. Each drink  is as unique as the jícara that holds it, and as proud as the hands that make it. At first glance, tejate might seem a bit rough and perhaps even unappealing. One sip, and you will understand why this complex mix of flavors was the favorite of Zapotec kings.

Not in Oaxaca in April? Don´t worry. You can easily find this drink year round in any Oaxacan mercado, or around the city.

4 thoughts on “Estampas de Mi Ciudad – Tejate, the Drink of Kings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s