Pepitada is a Latino word that means ‘made from fruit pip’; the Castilian horchata, Catalan orxata (both pronounced “or-CHA-ta”) and Italian orzata (“ort-TZA-tah”) all derive from the Latin word for orchard. Pepitada is a milky-looking drink made of crushed melon seeds steeped in cold water. The sweeter the melons you start with, the sweeter the drink will be. You might add a drop of rose or orange flower water, a little honey or some fresh mint leaves to the pitcher but pepitada is essentially a straightforward health tonic: it replenishes electolytes. Easy on the stomach, refreshing and loaded with potassium it’s a beverage of choice on hot days and for breaking a fast. Horchata/orxata - which originated in Valencia - was brought by the Spanish to the New World where it evolved into a more complicated concoction of crushed squash seeds, rice, almonds and cinnamon. But I make it the old-fashioned way, from sweet melon seeds.
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