I first read about tepache (teh-PAH-chay) in a Mexican cooking magazine a few months ago. It’s a beverage sold widely on the streets, made from pineapple rinds that’ve been left to ferment in water.
I was intimidated to try it — my first thought was, “Is this going to make me sick?” — but a few weeks ago, urged on by a friend who swore it was delicious, I bought some. The plastic baggie at the left cost 5 pesos. (By the way, do you now see what I’m telling you about plastic bags?)
My friend was right: It was cold and sweet, with a vague pineapple taste in the background. It was sunny and hot that day, so it was tough not to swig the whole bag in a few minutes.
When I got home, I figured tepache would be one of those weird Mexican foods that few people know about, like nicuatole, which is also on my mind lately. But no. Googling revealed detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to make tepache on the Chowhound Home Cooking message board, including whether or not you should add beer to speed up fermentation. (The basic recipe calls for leaving pineapple rinds in a pot of water for three days, and then adding sugar and spices.)
Others have posted recipes too. Rachel Laudan’s recipe calls for leaving out the sugar for a more tart tepache, which seems more my style.
So this tepache stuff is super easy. Next time I make a pineapple pie, I’m saving my rinds.