Cuaresmeño peppers, the old Lenten dish that renamed the jalapeño – El Financiero

The annual festivities of the Lent they even get into the kitchen, so much so that to comply with religious practices there are foods that have been consumed through Mexican generations, from the chocolate that was drunk in some convents to resist the fastto dishes without red meat to meet the abstinenceLike the chiles cuaresmeñosthat lead to the season as a surname.

In the former Federal District During Lent, jalapeño peppers arrived to the metropolis, they came from neighboring states only for these dates, they were stuffed with cheese and tuna to eat on Good Friday, therefore, according to the Encyclopedic dictionary of Mexican gastronomythey got the name of chiles cuaresmeños“Although this type of filling is no longer so popular, chili is still a very common spicy,” he adds.

In another version, in Short dictionary of mexicanisms of Guido Gómez de Silva it is stated that they are called Cuaresmeño because is harvested in Lent (March and April), when it doesn’t rain.


The stuffed jalapeno peppers they are a regional dish from Xalapa, Veracruz, according to Larousse Cocina, their popularity spread due to the city’s railway station, from where they were marketed and shipped to other states, in addition, La Jalapeña, a canned chili packing factory, started them sell fillers.

Are they originally from Jalapa?

Jalapeño peppers are described as a fresh product of light and dark green color, conical, fleshy, shiny, in its dry and smoked version it is transformed into chipotle.

This variety is among one of the largest relevance in MexicoDuring the Third World Forum of Mexican Gastronomy, the researcher Porfirio Simón López López commented that due to their production, the outstanding chiles in the country are the serrano, jalapenoguajillo, ancho, pasilla, habanero, tree and apple.

The version has been spread that, as the name indicates, jalapeño peppers are so called because they are produced prominently in XalapaVeracruz, although it is actually cultivated in different regions of the country.


Contrary to this statement, the researcher Rosa María Spinoso Arcocha explains in the article Jalapeños: A “Spicy” Cultural History that were accredited in this way because Xalapa was the place from which they were marketed and distributed to the various regions of New Spain, especially in preserve brine or marinadea Mediterranean technique of food preservation.

“I don’t even dare to suggest that Xalapa was the place where they began to be preserved in that way, since this could have happened anywhere and at any time,” he details.

The specialist points out that these chiles have a denomination of origin in Mexico and are called by different names depending on the region: in addition to cuaresmeñosthey are called green, striped, jarochoscorked, three loins, San Andrés, candelaria, hairy, fat and red snapper.

One of its ancient names, according to the encyclopedic dictionaryis tornachile or tornachileThis is how it is mentioned in old cookbooks, it derives from the Nahuatl tonalchilli, tone, sun heat and ChileChile; It is also called chilchote, from the Nahuatl chilchotlwhich translates as hot chili that makes you cry.

In an interview for the portal of the University of Guadalajara, Rosa María Spinoso added that the jalapeño, although it is not the hottest, is associated as an identity product of Mexico at an international level:

“We have made an effort to be identified as chili lovers, because we take chili everywhere, it is part of our diet… The jalapeño became internationalbecause today there is even a flavor, the jalapeño flavor that we find in various products, due to the way it is prepared.”