Rustic quesadillas de xocoyol, in the Estado de México

A xocoyol quesadilla, made from a plant in the Estado de Mexico

A xocoyol quesadilla, made from a plant in the Estado de Mexico

This past weekend, I visited some new friends at their home in Xalatlaco, a small city in the State of Mexico. For breakfast — a late breakfast for me, around 11 a.m. — they made quesadillas de xocoyol. The plant, which grows in nearby corn fields in June and July only, has a sharp, citrusy, sour taste, as if the leaves had been dipped in lime juice.

My friends, three women, mixed the greens with curls of white onion and a few thin veins of chile de árbol. They made blue corn tortillas from fresh nixtamal.

They laid the tortillas on the comal in thin sheets, then, once the tortillas had cooked, topped them with big handfuls of the xocoyol mixture, sprinkled with salt. There was no cheese. Everything steamed under the hood of the blue corn tortilla, and eventually, after several minutes, we had a soft, soft mixture without a single drop of oil.

“Te enchilaste?” one woman, Sra. Rosa, said after I took a bite. I shook my head. The quesadillas were lovely. Sort of like nopal in terms of the acidity, with a little punch of heat.

Apparently you can find xocoyol in Tlaxcala and the State of Puebla, too, although I’m not sure it’s the same plant. Does anyone out there know it?

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2 Responses to “Rustic quesadillas de xocoyol, in the Estado de México”
  1. MaryAlice

    The plant looks a bit like purslane to me. It grows voluntarily in my garden when it is cultivated, and I use it with pork in tortillas.

    • Lesley

      Hi Mary Alice: This isn’t purslane. The leaves are much slimmer, not as thick and juicy as purslane. Someone on my Facebook page asked me this same question yesterday, and it turns out — according to my quick Internet search — that they’re in two separate families. Purslane is in the Portulacaceae family; xocoyol (oxalis divergens Benth ex. Lindl) is in the Oxalidaceae family, or sorrel.

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