Chiles en nogada is a dish from Mexican cuisine. The name comes from the Spanish word for the walnut tree, nogal. It consists of poblano chiles filled with picadillo (a mixture usually containing shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices) topped with a walnut-based cream sauce, called nogada, and pomegranate seeds, giving it the three colors of the Mexican flag: green for the chili, white for the nut sauce and red for the pomegranate. The walnut used to prepare nogada is a variety called Nogal de Castilla or Castillan Walnut, also known as the English Walnut.
The traditional chile en nogada is from Puebla; it is tied to the independence of this country since it is said they were prepared for the first time to entertain the emperor Agustín de Iturbide when he came to the city after his naming as Agustín I. This dish is a source of pride for the inhabitants of the state of Puebla.
Some Mexican historians believe the inventors of this dish were the Monjas Clarisas, although others think they were the Madres Contemplativas Agustinas of the convent of Santa Monica, Puebla.
The picadillo usually contains panochera apple (manzana panochera), sweet-milk pear (pera de leche) and criollo peach (durazno criollo). The cream usually has milk, double cream, fresh cheese and washed nuts. The traditional season for making and eating this dish is August and first half of September, when pomegranates appear in the markets of Central Mexico and the national independence festivities begin.