Huauzontles, also called Huazontles or Cuazontles, are a native plant to Mexico. Their scientific name is Chenopodium nuttalliae. Huauzontles gave a very thick main stem, oval leaves -that aren’t eaten- and thinner stems filled with edible green flowers that resemble broccoli or rapini, but are much more smaller and delicate.
They have a strong smell when you get close. Similarly as the Epazote, Huauzontles have a deep, clean and almost astringent smell. Some people say they taste similar to spinach or watercress. It seems to me, they have a welcoming and original, light bitter taste.
Though they have been commonly eaten during Lent for centuries, but they are also eaten throughout the year. Since they have become increasingly popular in the US -where they used to be considered a weed- they are now being imported and also grown. They are now available in many Latino and International stores.
In Mexico, huauzontles are considered a nutritious, exotic, filling and delicate ingredient.
The most common way to eat them is what is called tortas de huauzontle, where they are boiled, drained, covered in cheese, battered and then bathed in one or another kind of sauce. The thick stem is not removed and people pull the edible part of the huauzontles with their teeth. It is fun! Yet, it is also messy.
I am fond of making croquettes out of them, which I shall post shortly.