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New Mexican chicos (dried corn AKA guachal)?


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General Discussion 1

New Mexican chicos (dried corn AKA guachal)?

rworange | Aug 10, 2006 12:44 AM

Does anyone have any experience with this dried corn?

I was in a Mexican store today and they were selling little bags of these. It looked just like popcorn. HOWEVER, for about 1/4 cup, the cost was $7. Which seems around the ballpark as this site sells it for $16.99 lb (with picture).

So I need more information before throwing my money away on a handful of corn, or I might feel like Jack of 'Jack in the Beanstalk' fame trading a cow for a handful of beans. How magic are chicos taste-wise?

This link says "Traditionally, the corn is dried in the hornos or Indian ovens, which gives it a smoky taste. Today, however, most of the chicos are dried in commercial ovens and lack the distinctive taste."

So is there a way to tell by looks if you have the type that tastes smoky? For seven bucks I want smoky ... dried in hornos.

The store selling them didn't even know what they were and had to Google.

Here's a little more with a picture of them cooked.

This site says that a way to prepare them was to dig a pit and a fire was built in it that burned for about two days. The unhusked corn was put in the pit and covered with soil. Then

"The partially roasted ears are removed, the husks stripped back, and the ears tied together in pairs and hung out to dry. The kernels were roasted to kill the grains, and to help them dry faster to preserve their food value. "

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