The chile poblano is a glistening dark green chile just big enough to stuff. Poblano means that it is associated with the colonial city of Puebla, now a short drive from Mexico City and redolent of its own colonial traditions, rich in colonial architecture, and home of the emblematic Mexican girl, the China Poblana, or Pueblan Chinese maiden. In a thousand labels and posters, she wears her colorful outfit and stands for the proud early days of the Manila galleons that plied the Pacific from the Philippines to Acapulco, linking Europe and Asia. From Acapulco, goods were carted across Mexico to ships waiting in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean to sail on to Seville.
With an even stronger flavor of nationalism, the chile poblano en nogada represents the Mexican revolt from the Spanish yoke. At least by the standard account, the already routine fusion dish, chile relleno*, was dressed up with fresh walnuts and a fancy sauce made to show the colors of the new flag: green (chile), red (pomegranate), and white (cream). It may also simply be the case that pomegranates were in season in September, the mes patria, so-called because on the sixteenth of that month in 1810, Father Hidalgo rang the tocsin of liberty from his church in Dolores Guanajuato and set the revolution in motion. Either explanation works for me. But if you are grabbed by the historical myth, remember to stand and give the grito (the cry) of Independence when you serve chiles poblanos en nogada: ¡Viva Mexico!
All over the world, Mexicans will be shouting the same words, and if they are in luck, they will have found chiles poblanos to stuff and savor.