Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

acitrón the candied ‘flesh’ (stem) of the large cushion-like biznaga cactus, Echinocactus grandis. This confection is sometimes called just biznaga in Mexico, where it is made, usually shaped into bars of about 2 cm (1") square. It is used for desserts, for sweet tamales, and sometimes in less expected ways, e.g. in the beef hash called picadillo. This is used for the dish chiles en nogada that boasts the colours of the Mexican flag (green chilli, white walnut sauce, red pomegranate seeds scattered over) and is thus often consumed on Mexican Independence Day (16 September).