We know that tepache was offered by the Aztecs to Hernan Cortes, but had likely been enjoyed by the indigenous cultures of pre-Columbian, also referred to as pre-conquest, central Mexico long before the 16th Century.  In the native Aztec language, náhuatl, the word “tepache” appears to be related to a verb meaning “to bruise or pound something.”

Though scholars may suggest the beverage surfaced in equatorial climates around the world simultaneously, tepache was initially made from corn but in popular culture is now made from the peel and the rind of pineapples.

Red-orange in color, tepache is typically sweetened with piloncillo, or unrefined brown sugar, and flavored with spices like cinnamon, star anise. The sweet and sour flavor may also be seasoned with lime, salt and chili. Paired with the rich, spicy tones of traditional Mexican dishes, or enjoyed on its own merit tepache is either non-alcoholic or very low in alcohol, but it combines well with beer, tequila or mezcal for those who prefer to imbibe something with more of a kick.


Dirty Dozen Recipe

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Use organic pineapples for this recipe because the fermentation process relies on the natural yeast that lives on pineapple hides. 

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