Chicha is the name given to various varieties of fermented drinks, whether from corn, yucca, rice, oatmeal, although it is also often prepared from the fermentation of various cereals and fruits. It is a drink widely consumed in South and Central America.
Plate with chicha skins and glass with Colombian chicha It is prepared in a very artisanal way, its alcohol content varies from mild to medium. Now, let's talk a little about the history of this drink.
In 1948 the Colombian government banned the manufacture of corn chicha that was not pasteurized and bottled in sealed containers, while chicha was blamed for brutalizing people. This was a cultural blow to the indigenous people and the consumption of the traditional Muisca drink, which greatly reduced the income of many families of indigenous origin. The prohibition lasted until 1991.
Although it is no longer the main alcoholic beverage in Colombia, it has always been linked to festivities in towns, to the traditions of families that still make chicha in an artisanal way, and its consumption increases especially in December.
Today, chicha continues to be known and popular, it is very delicious, and if it is freshly prepared it is much better. On a hot afternoon, this is the perfect drink to quench your thirst, although if the chicha is well fermented, its alcohol content can be quite strong.
I hope you are encouraged to make it and prepare it at home, and if you have never tried it, you have even more reason to prepare it, because like wine, chicha is one of those delicious appetizers in a drink. Don't think about it anymore, and prepare it.
What is the best way to select a ripe pineapple for Colombian chicha?
To choose a ripe pineapple, follow these tips:
- The shell should be golden in color with a slight touch of green.
- Smell the base of the pineapple, it should have a sweet and fresh aroma.
- Gently press the shell; if it sinks slightly, the pineapple is ripe.
Is it possible to substitute peto corn in the chicha?
Yes, it is possible to substitute peto corn with purple corn or yellow corn, although the flavor and appearance may vary. Purple corn will give a darker tone and a more intense flavor, while yellow corn will provide a softer flavor.
How can I adjust the sweetness of this recipe?
To adjust the sweetness of the chicha, you can vary the amount of panela used in the recipe. If you prefer a less sweet chicha, reduce the amount of panela to ¼ pound. For a sweeter chicha, increase the amount of panela to ¾ pound.
What is the optimal rest time for its flavor to develop?
The optimal rest time for the chicha is at least 8 hours, although letting it rest overnight (12-24 hours) will intensify the flavor even more. Be sure to refrigerate it during the rest time.
Can I add other ingredients?
Yes, you can experiment by adding other ingredients such as cloves, nutmeg, or even ginger to give your Colombian chicha a personal touch.
Tips and tricks for perfect Colombian chicha
Wash the pineapple shell well before using it, as it will be in contact with the liquid.
Use a large pot to prevent it from spilling over when boiling.
You can strain the chicha before serving it if you prefer a smoother drink without corn residue.
- Using unripe pineapples, which can result in a chicha with an acidic taste.
- Not washing the pineapple shell properly, which can introduce impurities into the chicha.
- Cooking the chicha over high heat, which can cause it to burn or evaporate too quickly.
- The shell of 1 ripe pineapple.
- ½ pound of peto corn.
- ½ pound of panela.
- 2 cinnamon sticks.
- 12 cups of water.
- In a large pot mix all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and let it simmer. Cook for 60 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and let it cook for 20 more minutes.
- Then, remove from heat and let cool. Take half of the corn and place it in the blender or food processor.
- Once blended, return it to the pot and mix well.
- Place in a glass or plastic container or in a clay pot for more flavor.
- Place in the refrigerator until completely cold or let it rest overnight for a more intense flavor.