National Horchata Day has been celebrated annually on September 24 since 2001. The day is celebrated to promote awareness of this delicious beverage and also to honor its rich Hispanic history. Many of us may not be familiar with horchata; it refers to a variety of refreshing Mexican beverages made from white rice steeped in water and flavored with cinnamon, almonds, tiger nuts, or sugar. Typically, the ingredients are pulverized in a blender until they reach a semiliquid consistency. In the end, the mixture is sieved to remove the solid granules, leaving a lovely, milky texture. Various variations of the recipe exist. Some people prefer it with milk, while others enjoy adding flavors like vanilla or coconut. It is overall nutritious and rich in vitamins and supplements.
The background of National Horchata Day
To completely submerge ourselves in this merely gratifying beverage. We must understand where this beverage originated and why it now has its own holiday.
Horchata is a ubiquitous beverage in the United States, but its origins are in West Africa, present-day Nigeria, and Mali, where it was and is popularly known as ‘kuunu aya.’ This structure dates back to 2400 B.C. It is speculated that the Moors introduced it to Spain during the Muslim conquest. In the eleventh century, it spread to Spain and Portugal, eventually gaining the appellation ‘horchata’ in Valencia.
Although the origin stories of this non-alcoholic beverage may contain African anecdotes, the origin stories of the name suggest that other cultures may have created their own versions of this beverage. Around the 16th century, the Romans created their own milk-based beverage. Instead of using popular ingredients like rice or Tiger nut — which is not a nut — the Romans used barley because it was believed to have medicinal properties at the time. The Romans milked the barley by soaking it in water, which formed the basis of the drink they dubbed “hordeata,” which translates to “barley drink.”
There is another humorous explanation for the origin of the drink’s name: King James of Aragon was offered the drink by a young girl in the 13th century, and upon tasting it, he stared at her in bewilderment and asked what it was. The young girl responded that it was chufa milk, to which he replied, “This is not milk, this is honey, xata!” “This is not milk; it’s gold, my dear!” Hence, the origin of the moniker horchata.
Activities commemorating National Horchata Day
Engage your online acquaintances
You can share interesting horchata-related information on social media using hashtags such as #NationalHorchataDay.
Go get horchata with your fellow students.
Some varieties of horchata are slightly sweet, while others are slightly spicy; you and your companions can go out and determine which varieties are your favorites.
Create it oneself
There are numerous horchata recipes available online. A good way to get into the spirit of the day is to don an apron and prepare a dish you believe you’ll enjoy.
5 UNKNOWN FACTS ABOUT HORCHATA
There are over ten varieties of horchata, the most renowned of which are rice-based beverages from Mexico.
It contains numerous natural constituents, including vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
The natives of Spain, Mexico, and Nigeria attest to its aphrodisiac properties.
Despite modifications to the formulation, the 13th-century method has been incorporated.
Tiger nuts or chufa are small tubers with patterns that give them their name.
NATIONAL HORCHATA DAY DATES