EDITOR NOTE: Would you ever believe that Tijuana millennials are some of the trendiest, kombucha-loving, yoga stretching, coffee aficionados with a respectable number of health food stores selling anything from vegan food to organic dog treats? Well, pulque was there way before; ahead of its time.
Pulque is a pre-Hispanic beverage with a consistency reminiscent of kombucha, if kombucha were made from okra. It's about as alcoholic as beer, but it's made from the lightly fermented sap of the agave—the same plant that's used to make tequila and mezcal.
Pulque-makers take the head off the maguey plant and make a cavity inside it to get mead [aguamiel]. Mead is the first juice from the plant. They say you should cut into the maguey plant on a full moon – otherwise the yield isn't so great. Pulque is good for a ton of ailments – rheumatism, diabetes and loads more.
Pulque only lasts about three days (five max if refrigerated) before going bad.
The pulque is produced by fermentation of sap (aguamiel) obtained from the plant Maguey, mainly from the species Agave atrovirens and Agave americana; however for its production other species can also be used as Agave ferox, Agave mapisaga, and Agave salmiana (Torres-Maravilla et al., 2016).
Maguey is used as live fencing that controls cattle and prevents erosion. It can be formed into rope, used as fuel, and made into paper – very important paper. Ancient records and ritual calendars were painted on maguey and ancient Codices from Mesoamerican cultures illustrate lives linked to the use of maguey.
Pulque, like beer, is considered best when fresh, though despite rumors of underground pulque production in the U.S., fresh pulque is virtually impossible to find. The most common canned version is Pulque 1881, a product of Tlaxcala, Mexico.
To make Pulque, you cut a hollow into a ripe piña, the part of the agave plan that its sap flows into. For more information on this process and piñas, see Aguamiel. The sap is siphoned out, using a wooden tube. The sap can then be allowed to ferment on its own from yeasts in the air, or yeast can be added.
Pulque doesn't need refrigeration. With the addition of fruit juices, it comes in several flavors, or “curados"--guava, mango, coconut, strawberry and pineapple. At 6 percent alcohol content, it's about as strong as the average beer. According to tradition, pulque is an aphrodisiac.
Unfortunately,the Aztecs who were poor mostly ate corn flower cooked as porridge or baked into thin pancakes called tortillas. Other things that poor Aztecs ate included slugs,tadpoles,flies and worms. The Aztecs enjoyed eating sweet potatoes,beans and avocadoes.
The Aztecs also ate gophers, iguanas, grasshoppers, ants, and worms; and harvested Spirulina, the blue-green algae now sold as a health food, which was made into dried cakes.
Popcorn was an important food for the Aztec Indians, who also used popcorn as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of their gods, including Tlaloc, the god of rain and fertility.
The Aztecs took chocolate admiration to another level. They believed cacao was given to them by their gods. Like the Mayans, they enjoyed the caffeinated kick of hot or cold, spiced chocolate beverages in ornate containers, but they also used cacao beans as currency to buy food and other goods.
The Aztecs created carefully observed sculptures of domesticated animals such as turkeys and dogs, as well as wild coyotes, snakes, and jaguars.
Maize, beans and squash were the three staple foods, to which nopales and tomatoes were usually added. Chilli and salt were ubiquitous. The Aztec diet was dominated by fruit and vegetables, but at times also included domesticated animals such as dogs, turkeys, ducks and honey bees.
Originally Published on: GREEN INFOS