This annual event in Dutchess County, New York, mirrors a festival in Oaxaca, Mexico, that honors both Roman Catholic and indigenous Mexican traditions. The most recent Stateside celebration provided a showcase for an ages-old culinary practice, the preparation of a beverage called tejate (tay-Hah-tay). Previously I'd encountered it only in frozen form.
Tejate is prepared from a masa, or dough, that incorporates maize and cacao as well as mamey seeds and aromatic blossoms known as rosita or flor de cacao. (Cacao and flor de cacao come from tropical evergreens in the same family but not the same genus or species.) Since the laborious grinding and mixing of the masa was apparently conducted in advance, and offsite, I can't be sure if all the customary ingredients were included; the blossoms must be the most difficult to source.
The first photo depicts the intial thinning of the already-blended masa, in cold water, by the hand of the tejatera. Ultimately the watery beverage was ladled into a serving container to which (optionally) a simple syrup had been added; pouring from a height mixed in the syrup and frothed the tejate. Brightly colored jícaras, bowl-like containers fashioned from gourds, were employed in many intermediate steps to add water, transfer tejate, and generate even more froth. In Oaxaca, I was given to understand, these jícaras would be used as (reusable) serving containers, too; in Poughkeepsie we made do with plastic.
For a few more photos, see the EIT page on Facebook
Victor C. Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie, New York
(The 2016 celebration was held on August 7)