pepitada is made from ground canteloupe or other melon seeds. its taste is remniscent of toasted sesame. it is sweetened with sugar and further perfumed with orange flower or rose waters and served in small glasses.
and here is how it is made:
pepitada — a ladino "break the fast" restorative
1/2 - 1 cup melon seeds
3 - 4 c water
2 - 3 tsp sugar
orange flower or rose water
these are the seeds after having been washed and dried:
the seeds are placed in a pan on medium heat and stirred until they start to brown slightly and pop. you will hear them crackle. they may jump in the pan!
let them rest until they are cool and proceed to grind them. they smell wonderful after they roast. here is a close up of the seeds:
in a blender or a food processor, grind the seeds finely.
the ground seeds are placed in a muslin bag you tie up extremely tightly. here, i used a tripled new "j-cloth" tied with a string.
after the corners have been carefully collected and tied, you get a little bag [sakito].
place this bag in a glass pitcher and fill with 3 to 4 cups of cold water.
let the bag sit in the water:
leave the bag for an hour and then carefully take it and give it a few squeezes and the water will fast start to change colour and the seeds will exude their "milk".replace the mixture in the fridge and occasionally give the mixture a squeeze [3 or 4 times]. the next day, wring the bag tightly to exude every last bit of "milk" and discard its contents.
flavour the pepitada with the sugar to taste & the flower water you choose [or don't add if you don't like it].
the finished pepitada. a centuries old tradition.