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About Pulque

Wikipedia Article About Pulque on Wikipedia

Pulque, or octli, is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of the maguey, and is a traditional native beverage of Mesoamerica.

The maguey plant is not a cactus (as has sometimes been mistakenly suggested) but an agave elsewhere called the "century plant". The plant was one of the most sacred plants in Mexico and had a prominent place in mythology, religious rituals, and Meso-American industry.

Pulque is depicted in Native American stone carvings from as early as 200 AD. The origin of pulque is unknown, but because it has a major position in religion, many folk tales explain its origins. According to pre-Columbian history, during the reign of Tecpancaltzin, a Toltec noble named Papantzin found out how to extract aguamiel from the maguey plant. Prior to the Spanish conquest, the Aztecs consumed it at religious ceremonies.

Pulque is made in the following fashion: When the plant's flower stem shoots up, it is hollowed in the centre. The juice that should have supplied the flowers is taken from it daily, for a period of about two months. This juice is then fermented, after which it is immediately fit for drinking.

Pulque is still made and drunk in limited quantities in parts of Mexico today. However, because it cannot easily be stored or preserved, it is not well known outside the country. Mezcal (or mescal) is the name given to a double-distilled spirit which comes from the maguey plant. Today there are well defined and regulated regions (A.O.C.) for both mezcal and Tequila in Mexico. Tequila is the name of a mezcal from the region of western Mexico around the town of Tequila, Jalisco. Aguamiel (from which pulque is made) is the natural juice of the maguey plant, whereas mezcal is the clear spirit made out of the heart of the plant itself. The flavor is either bitter or sweet, depending on how you like it. If you like it strong then you drink it neat, and if not you put in a bit of honey.

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