Don’t let the name fool you; this Mexican gazpacho is nothing like the cold vegetable soup from Spain.
Gazpacho Moreliano is a popular signature dish from Morelia, the capital of Michoacán, and it has a slightly controversial history. Pati Jinich explains in Pati’s Mexican Table (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013): “Should you find yourself in the Morelian Zócalo (the main plaza), you will see many a beautiful courtyard restaurant that claims to be the home of the ‘Original Gazpacho.’ I am quite certain that the person who invented this fruit salad is a man by the name of El Güero; but the problem is that there are now a number of descendents of the original El Güero in the Zocalo, and they all boast having the ‘original’ recipe.”
Jinich’s version is based off of the Gazpacho Moreliano made by the same Güero she always visits in Morelia. It features bright, tropical flavors from the mango and pineapple, and delivers wonderful crunch from the chopped jícama and white onion. She tells culture the queso cotija in this recipe is essential: “Being teasingly salty, dry and crumbly, it beautifully contrasts the acidic and sweet taste of the ripe fruits and citrus, making each ingredient thrown in the gazpacho shine even brighter.”
- 2 cups peeled and diced ripe mango
- 2 cups peeled, cored, and diced pineapple
- 2 cups peeled and diced jícama (1 small-to-medium jícama)
- 6 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
- ¾ cup finely crumbled cotija (or queso fresco or mild feta)
- 3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- Kosher or sea salt, to taste
- Dried ground chile piquín or Mexican dried ground chile, to taste
- Add one third of the mango, pineapple, and jícama to a large bowl. Add one third of the onion and queso, followed by one third of the orange and lime juices. Season with salt and chile. Repeat with two more layers. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and ground chile to taste.
- Traditional Gazpacho Moreliano is made with mango, pineapple, and jícama, but other fruits and vegetables may be used.