Discovering tepache, or the juice of fermented pineapple

Tepeche, sold in a plastic baggie on the streets of Mexico City

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.

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6 Responses to “Discovering tepache, or the juice of fermented pineapple”
  1. Leslie Limon

    If you liked the tepache, you have to try tejuino and my favorite, pulque!!! Had I read this earlier, I too would have saved my pineapple rinds. (Made a pie!)

  2. Don Cuevas

    I also have written about making tepache.
    http://mexkitchen.blogspot.com/2006/02/batch-tepache.html

    Keep in mind that as it ages, it turns to pineapple vinegar. We can buy pineapple vinegar cheaper than I can make it at home.
    (Besides, I rarely if ever use it. I most of a 2 liter bottle I purchased at mercado Nño Santo, in Morelia, two months ago.)

    Saludos,
    Don Cuevas

  3. Don Cuevas

    That should have been “Niño”, of course.
    Doesn’t WordPress have a Preview mode?

    DC

  4. Lesley

    Hi Don Cuevas: I linked to your tepache recipe in my post — maybe you didn’t see it? And yeah, I saw some talk of pineapple vinegar while I was googling tepache, but I wasn’t entirely sure what you’d use it for. Salads?

  5. amanda

    My husband is always talking about this. So now that I know how easy it is maybe I should try to make him happy and make it. lol. I love the juice in a bag comment. We had some friends visit and we took lots pictures of them drinking juice in a bag. One of my friends from down here saw the pictures and was like. What are these all about. When I told here we don’t have juice in a bag in the states she just looked at me like she didn’t understand. lol

  6. Matt

    i just made this by accident i left my pineapple too long and it tasted like alcohol but i still ate it lol…

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