The bottle gourd, cucurbita Ficifolia, a rather bland member of the squash family, is common in Oaxacan cuisine, either cooked in stews, used to make a dulce something like candied pumpkin, or in this unique, refreshing beverage. It does not get strained, so the sweet pulp of the squash and pineapple remains in the drink. If chilacayote is unavailable, substitute yellow crookneck summer squash, but not zucchini or winter squash.
- 2 cooked chilacayotes or yellow crookneck summer squash, cooked until very soft
- 2 quarts water
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks, about ½ inch cubes
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar (or piloncillo)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Place the squash in a blender with ½ cup of the water and the pineapple chunks. Liquify, but do not strain. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart pitcher.
Place the sugar in a saucepan with another ½ cup of the water and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add this to the pitcher, along with the cinnamon. Stir in the remaining water.
Refrigerate and serve well chilled. Makes 8 servings.
Market day in Ocotlan, Oaxaca: Gourmet grazing in Southern Mexico