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Sipping Sweet Corn Custard

This traditionally hot corn drink, called chicheme and typical of the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, can be made with white or the more traditional purple corn flour or cornmeal. It’s custardy, creamy, and smooth with a hint of spice from the ginger. Even though Nicoyans enjoy this as a hot beverage on cold days and a refreshing iced drink on hot days, you can also make and eat this as a soup. Its taste and consistency are very similar to sweet corn chowder.

Photo by: Florencia Tagliavini

Cook Time:
30 minutes

Sipping Sweet Corn Custard Recipe


1 pound cornmeal
3 one-inch pieces of ginger, peeled and sliced
4 cups water
4 cups vanilla soy, rice, almond, or coconut milk
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)


In a saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat immediately to low.
Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally as the liquid thickens. Add more milk if you prefer a thinner drink.
Remove ginger pieces before serving.
Serve hot, or wait for it to cool and enjoy over ice.

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