Chicha de Maíz is a fermented drink traditionally made in a clay pot with corn and pineapple, sweetened with panela (hard brown cane sugar), also known as piloncillo. Sometimes a nonalcoholic version is made with the same ingredients, but without allowing it to ferment, therefore, drink it immediately after you make it. Chicha de Maíz has a unique and interesting flavor that the fermentation adds to this drink.
Chicha de Maíz, which is traditionally sold by chicheros in the streets and markets of Colombia, especially in the Andean zone of the country, nowadays, is also sold in restaurants. Although Chicha de Maíz is not very popular in the United States, it is very easy to prepare at home.
Chicha de Maíz (Corn Drink)
- ½ pound cooked dried corn (maiz peto)
- The skins of 1 small ripe pineapple
- ½ pound panela or to your taste
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 12 cups water
- Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 60 minutes and then uncover the pot and continue cooking for 20 minutes more.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Take about half of the corn and place in the blender or food processor. Return it to the pot and mix well. Place in a non-reactive container or a clay pot for a stronger flavor.
- Put in the fridge until completely cold. You can drink it immediately or let sit overnight for a more intense flavor.