Punche: A traditional, no fuss corn dessert from Puebla, Mexico

Punche or punchi is one of those traditional Poblano corn desserts that are becoming rare in Puebla,
Mexico. Before the 21 st century, it was common to see ladies selling punche at the markets, walking
around with cereal bowls of this delicious, corn gelatin-textured dessert, slicing it onto a piece of paper
and selling it for 20 cents a piece.
People would also make it in their homes, especially to please their ancestors during the Día de Muertos
festivities. Some variations include preparing it with milk instead of water, adding clove, orange rind or
star anise.
Punche’s background dates back to prehispanic times, when it was prepared with agave syrup instead of sugar. Prepared in this manner, punche is nutritious, delicious, and fulfilling. It is best when prepared
with native corn, such as blue or red corn. Preparing meals with heritage corn doesn’t have to be
tedious; you will agree once you give punche a try.
½ kilo dry corn kernels
1/3 cup sugar (optional, to taste)
Large cinnamon stick
1 L water or milk to cook
Water to soak corn


  1. Rinse the corn and cover with water in a bowl. Leave soaking overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the water used for soaking and place corn in the blender. Add water to
    cover half the amount of corn.
  3. Blend until you get a liquid mixture. Add more water if necessary.
  4. In a saucepan, heat up water or milk (or the desired combination of water/milk) with the
    cinnamon stick and the sugar.
  5. Before it boils, add the blended corn, passing it though a strainer.
  6. Cook on medium heat for an hour, stirring very frequently so that the mixture doesn’t stick to
    the bottom of the pot.
  7. The desired consistency is a thick, uniform paste, where you can see the bottom of the pot
    when you stir.
  8. Remove immediately from the heat and pour in bowls, preferably glass or ceramic.
  9. Refrigerate for 2 hours until set.
  10. It may be served in individual bowls or in slices since the result is a gelatin texture.

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