[Sca-cooks] Horchata - Barley Water

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Sat May 19 11:13:58 PDT 2007

Arianwen ferch Arthur wrote:

> OK--I'm confused  the only mention of Rice is that
> later someone substituted barley for the rice???
Yes, Valencians primary rice growers in Spain substituted rice for 
barley in the 15th C. temporarily thus indicating the evolution of the 
word horchata (meaning made from barley) to different context. Rice was 
cheaper than barley there. All peasants had rice. The Arabs introduced 
rice to Valencia and chufas which grow like weeds in the Mediterranean 
so chufas replaced rice.
"Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" wrote:

> What I'm wondering is whether the earthnut referred to above is the  
> modern groundnut, or what Americans call peanuts...
> */ <http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/apiame.html>/
> *
No the scientific name for groundnut is Apios americana indicting that 
that is one of your products not one from the Mediterranean, peanut is 
Arachis hypogaea,  I am talking about what the Spanish call chufa, 
scientific name Cyperus esculentus translated into English as earthnut, 
earth almond or chufa. You will have to tell me which word is most 
commonly used in the USA.

Susan Fox/Selene wrote

> I thought modern orgeat was almond flavored.  The bottle in my kitchen
> certainly is.  OH dear, I would be so easy to poison
    To me the chufa does not have an almond taste but perhaps someone 
can enlighten us as to why it can be called earth almond. The chufa is 
totally a Mediterranean plant not available in New World at least at the 
time when Spanish immigrants incorporated their recipes into American 
cooking so it stands to reason that the horchata - orgeat you know it is 
almond based as the trees did take root there.
    As far as poisoning is concerned bitter almonds are only poisonous 
when raw and you know it when you eat one from they are so bitter you 
spit them out! If your orgeat is made with bitter almonds instead of 
sweet ones (non-poisonous) the drink is totally harmless as the lethal 
elements are eliminated by boiling.

Ana Vald?s wrote:

> In Spain the horchata (only served and made in Summer), is made with almonds. 
    No, as explained above horchata today in Spain is made with chufas 
not almonds. In Valencia horchata is available year round at kiosks on 
the street. Perhaps in other regions it is only available in the summer. 
Obviously horchata sales increase in summer as horchata is a thirst 
    An antedocte of this is that  food cravings during pregnancy were 
discussed a lot when I was pregnant in Madrid. One American friend sent 
her husband all over Madrid in the middle of the night in search of 
popcorn when it was a rarity there. Another friend who had several 
children in Valencia made husband take her to the park after lunch to 
buy her horchata to satisfy her craving, no matter what time of year it 

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