For those who grew up drinking horchata, the taste of cinnamon in plant-based milk invokes a cooling respite on scorching summer days. It turns out that this agua fresca is an ancient recipe that connects the American borderlands with the Middle East, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula. Horchata also reminds us about the importance of terroir within the indigenous foodways of the borderlands. In this episode of Gravy, we’ll cross the globe with horchata and arrive in the Rio Grande Valley, where horchata serves as a conduit between indigenous cooks and the landscape.

Sarah Holtz reported and produced this episode.

Featured music
“Place of Nowhere,” by Lobo Loco
“Border Blaster,” by Josh Woodward
“Collingwood,” by Blue Dot Sessions
“Valley of No Return,” by Lobo Loco
“Flower Meadow Marriage,” by Lobo Loco

Photo by Marlen Mendoza.