I think it depends on what part of Mexico you're from, whether you use cornstarch or masa.There are 6 families on my block that are either 1st generation Americans(parents are from Mexico) or resident aliens from Mexico. I asked them and got 4 different answers.2 said they had never had atole, 1 said masa, 1said cornstarch, and 2 said a mixture of masa and cornstarch. Even those 2 couldn't agree. One said a 50/50 mix, the other swore by 2parts masa and 1part cornstarch. All the neighbor's families are from different parts of Mexico, with the 2 who halfway agreed coming from areas about 150 miles apart. Cornstarch is, by the way a super-fine cornflour. It is to masa harina what powdered suger is to table sugar. Around here horchata is much more common. I hadn't heard of atole in years. Growing up, my neighbor sometimes made it in winter. She used 3parts masa and 1part cornstarch. She also would add a pinch of ground coriander to the cinnamon.
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I think it depends on what part of Mexico you're from, whether you use cornstarch or...