National Horchata Day Date in the current year: September 24, 2024

National Horchata Day National Horchata Day is observed annually on September 24. It celebrate a delicious beverage that is commonly associated with Hispanic culture, but his roots can be traced all the way back to the Old World, namely North Africa and Spain.

Horchata is an umbrella term for a variety of milky beverages that are made with nuts, grains, or seeds, but sometimes contain animal milk. They may be flavored with various spices and can be served or cold.

Horchata is believed to have originated in North Africa. The original drink was most likely made with barley because the word horchata is believed to derive from the Latin word hordeum, which means barley. Horchata began to spread throughout what is now Spain and Portugal around the 11th century after the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. According to legend, King James I of Aragon called horchata “pure gold” because of its sweetness and texture. Spanish conquistadors brought the concept of horchata to the New World, where its recipe was changed to accommodate local ingredients.

Modern horchata is no longer made from barley. In Spain, the drink is made with soaked, ground, and sweetened tiger nuts. Called horchata de chufa (chufa is Spanish for tiger nut), or orxata de xufa in Valencian, it is considered the original form of the beverage. Spanish horchata is a summertime drink that is typically served ice-cold. It is often accompanied by fartons, oblong pastries with a spongy texture that are meant to be dipped into the beverage.

In Latin America, horchata is usually made with rice (horchata de arroz), sesame seeds (horchata de ajonjolí), ground melon seeds (horchata de melón), or jicaro seeds (semilla de jicaro). Rice horchata is the most common variety of the beverage in Mexico and Guatemala. It may be flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, and can be served hot or cold. Horchata de arroz is the most popular variety of horchata in the United States, where it is sold in Mexican ice cream shops and taquerías.

Horchata de ajonjolí is especially popular in Puerto Rico and Zulio State of Venezuela. In Puerto Rico, it is made by pouring boiling water over toasted ground sesame seeds and leaving them to soak for 24 hours. The beverage is then strained, sweetened with sugar, and flavored with vanilla and cinnamon. Other ingredients may be added, such as coconut milk, evaporated milk, and even rum.

Semilla de jicaro, or jicaro horchata, is common in Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua). It is made by grinding jicaro seeds with rice into a fine powder and mixing the base with water or milk. Depending on the region, the drink may include other ingredients such as cinnamon, cocoa, ground nuts (almond, cashews, peanuts), nutmeg, sesame seeds, tiger nuts, and vanilla.

National Horchata Day was launched in 2001 by ampm, a U.S.-based convenience store chain, to promote ampm’s most popular drink. The holiday is observed in September because it is National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. You can celebrate it by going out for horchata with your friends, making the drink yourself, and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #NationalHorchataDay.

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National Horchata Day, observances in the US, unofficial holidays, food days, food and drink days