Published by: Gourmet Sleuth
Last Updated: 10/30/2013
Pozole (also spelled posole) is a Mexican soup. The soup is made with a special type of corn which has been slaked (soaked) in a solution of lime (cal). The traditional corn that is used is called maiz blanco or "cacahuazintle" [kaw-kaw-WAH-SEEN-til]. This is a very large-kerneled white corn grown in Mexico.
The process described below prepares the corn for the pozole. This preparation soften the corn and additionally makes the product more digestible and thus more nutritious. Once you've prepared the corn then use it in your favorite recipe.
Each step is detailed in the next section below.
Place the corn in a colander and rinse under cold water. This step just helps to loosen and rinse away any extra hulls and dust pesticides that might be coating the corn. Ideally you would use organic corn but some of the special Mexican varieties are difficult to find when trying to buy organic.
Add 2 quarts of water to a large (at least 4 quart) noncorrosive pan. Place the pan over high heat and add the lime (cal) and stir until it is dissolved.
Continue until the corn is all white (except the tips). Drain the corn well. This cleaned, prepared corn is what is called "Nixtamal" or "Nixtamalado".
Pictured above you can see the little brown "heads" left on the corn. If you are making Pozole and you want the kernels to open (flower) then you need to "de-head" the kernals. De-heading simply means to pick off those little tips. This rather time-consuming step is optional and does not affect the flavor of the pozole, just the appearance.