September 16th will be Mexican Independence Day. If you’re a little surprised to learn that it isn’t on May 5th – Cinco de Mayo – don’t feel badly, it is a common misconception held by foreigners. Along with the celebrations, one of the country’s most iconic dishes will be found on many tables throughout the Puerto Vallarta and Rivera Nayarit region.
It is said that the dish originated in Puebla, Mexico, the culinary creation of a 19th century order of Catholic nuns. The base of the dish is a poblano chili (a large pepper not much spicier than a green bell pepper) that is stuffed with a mix of savory spiced meat, nuts and fruit. The entire chili is then smothered in a rich and creamy walnut sauce, and then finished with a sprinkling of parsley and pomegranate seeds. On the plate, the white walnut sauce, joined by the red pomegranate seeds and the green parsley and chile, reflect the colors of the Mexican Flag, making it a traditional dish to mark the occasion.
For home cooks, we have an authentic and easy Chiles en Nogada Recipe to try in the kitchen of your home, and while there are several steps, don’t be intimidated. With some patience and attention, it can be done, and the results will be both delicious and impressive.
For those that aren’t as fond of cooking at home, we have a list of some of the best restaurants in Riviera Nayarit where you can find Chiles en Nogada on the menu.
With locations in both Puerto Vallarta and Punta de Mita, this restaurant is known for delicious and authentic Mexican dishes and every year adds Chiles en Nogada to the menu to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Both locations are extremely charming, bathed in pinks and bright colors and featuring live music most nights.
Puerto Vallarta, Hidalgo 335, Centro
Monday through Sunday, 12pm to 11pm
Phone: 322 222 1812
Punta de Mita, Carr. la Cruz de Huanacaxtle 209
Monday through Sunday, 4pm to 11pm
Phone: 322 216 8036
Famed chef, Thierry Blouet, traditionally serves his delicious version of Chiles en Nogada to celebrate September 16th. Tuna Blanca is certainly one of the best fine dining restaurants in Punta Mita with a wonderful oceanfront location. Choose from the elegant bar lounge area, the principal interior dining salon, the covered terrace that keeps off the sun while welcoming the ocean breeze or enjoy having your toes in the sand while dining right on the beach.
Punta de Mita, Av. Anclote Lote 5
Tuesday through Sunday, 5pm to 9:30pm
Phone: 329 291 5414
Reservations available through OpenTable
Whether you try them in your own Riviera Nayarit home or if you go out to enjoy them, be sure to add Chiles de Nogada to your culinary adventures in Mexico and be part of celebrating this incredible country’s Day of Independence.