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Get to know tequesquite: the ingredient that your tamales need

25 mayo, 2021

To make tamales there are a wide variety of ingredients that are basic to achieve its flavor. But there is a singular one of pre-Hispanic origin that should not be missing in your recipes: the tequesquite.

Today we explain what it is and how you can integrate it into your tamales so that its flavor is delicious and unique.

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Tequesquite: a pre-Hispanic ingredient that you must try

Its name comes from Nahuatl tetl, “Stone”, and quixquitl, “Sprouting”: stone that comes out by itself. It is a natural mineral salt, used since pre-Hispanic times as a seasoning for food, including tamales.

It also had other uses, for example as laundry soap.

Tequesquite is formed from water retained in small ponds when its level drops, such as in the dry season. It is found in places like the Texcoco Valley, where it is collected and sold in stone or ground form.

Dough for tamales

You can use the tequesquite to ferment the dough of your tamales so that they are fluffy (Photo: Getty Images)

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How is it used in the kitchen?

This salt is composed of various minerals such as sodium chloride and carbonate, and is currently used to cook food and also to ferment dough; that is, like the yeast that serves to lighten and fluff the dough of the tamales:

The tequesquite is ground, mixed with water and tomato peel. Then it is brought to a boil, it is allowed to cool and finally it is strained and added to the dough.

It also serves to soften the corn and beans, adding a little of the salt to the water for cooking.

Another way to use it is to cook nopales or herbs, which helps to soften them, maintaining their natural color.

This salt is recommended not only to preserve and even improve the taste of food, but it is also an ingredient that can help digestion.

Do you dare to try the tequesquite?

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