Tag Archives: Puebla

Tamales de ceniza: Ash tamales from Puebla at Sabor Poblano

Mexico FlagOver winter break in Chicago last year we visited Sabor Poblano (7027 N. Clark) in Rogers Park after it was highly recommended to us (and it later was reviewed in the Chicago Reader). We are so glad to try a restaurant that features the foods of Pueblo State in Mexico, and we loved tasting regional specialties, including some dishes we had never heard before. They are open for pickup now, so please give them a try. The menu includes pambazos (dipped sandwiches), quesadillas, tacos and a variety of moles, and some special weekend-only dishes like barbacoa. Everything we tried was delicious, and one of our favorites, the red mole Poblano, was killer. We were really excited to try a much rarer specialty from Puebla – tamales de ceniza – which translates directly to “ash tamales.” These tamales are known in Morelos and Guerrero state as Tamales Nejas.

Tamales de Ceniza at Sabor Poblano in Chicago

Tamales de ceniza are flat, unfilled and rectangular, and are made with masa and ashes from the wood-fire stove, and steamed in banana leaves. The flavor of the Tamales de ceniza was really interesting! The black flecks permeated the masa, and the flavor was smoky, but not gritty like you may think ash would be. Since these tamales, unlike many other Mexican varieties, are not filled, and are used more as a platform for other sauces and flavors. At Sabor Poblano they are served as the perfect vehicle for the green mole sauce and chicken. There are similar tamales from Michoacán called corundas, which are triangular, but are also not filled. There are not many recipes for Tamales de ceniza online of you are looking to re-create them at home, but here is a recipe in Spanish. One of our favorite cooking YouTube channels, De mi Rancho a Tu Cocina has a video for how to make the similar corundas.

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Pastry Post-Doc: Sweet Molletes Poblanos

Mexico FlagOur weekly Pastry Post-Doc is coming a day early this year for Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrating Mexico’s victory over France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. We are celebrating the holiday with a rare treat that is unique to Puebla: Molletes Dulces / Molletes Poblanos. Molletes in Mexico are usually a savory dish eaten as a snack or at breakfast, but in Puebla they are sweet, hence being called Molletes Dulces! Molletes in Puebla are are a sweet round bread (similar to a concha) filled with custard, often coconut-flavored, and covered in a pumpkin seed (pepita) icing. Contributing to their relatively unknown status, Molletes Poblanos are only found for a short period of time, from Father’s Day in June until August 12, the day of St. Clare of Assisi (Spanish link).  If you are in Puebla, you can find them at bakeries on “Sweet Street” – Calle de los Dulces! If you don’t happen to be in Puebla this summer (we wish we were!) check out this Spanish-language video from Pulso to see Molletes for yourself.

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Filed under Holidays, Pastry Post-Poc