In my Post Xocoyoli : The Sour Quelite I mention one of my first plant memories involving what we colloquially know as sourgrass. This plant was a variety of Oxalis (Oxalis pes-caprae). This particular plant is indigenous to Southern Africa but has spread around the World. It is considered to be a weed of agricultural crops and the species can be quite difficult to control … Continue reading Quelite Agrio : Other Sour Quelites
This plant is often called Tagetes filifolia. They are similarly flavoured and can be used interchangeably both culinarily and medicinally. Anís de chucho, anisillo (Central Mexico, San Luis Potosi, Durango, Chihuahua, Michoacan – more specifically Patzcuaro), anis de campo (Michoacan), anis de suelo (Guerrero), Tanix’ ch’ian (Motozintla, Chiapas), yuku anís (Mixtec), licorice marigold, Anise marigold (Southern Baja), putsut, putzuti (Lascurain-Rangel et al 2022) Tagetes micrantha … Continue reading Quelite : Anis de Chucho : Tagetes micrantha
I am an avid book collector and every time I stumble across one in a second hand store I snaffle it up. I particularly like older books as I am able to compare them with the new publications in my collection and see how far knowledge has grown or changed in the intervening years. My recent acquisition was this book the “Illustrated Encyclopedia : The … Continue reading Tequila. We’ve come a long way. (Book Review)
This is something you may hear regarding the differences between tequila and mezcal. Previously this little dicho (or saying) did bear some relevance as both tequila and mezcals are made from the maguey (or agave). The main difference was that mezcal could be made from any number of agaves (1) whilst tequila could be made from only one variety (2). more than 40 species of … Continue reading All Tequila is Mezcal BUT not all Mezcal is Tequila.
There are many rituals and traditions that surround the imbibing of the life blood of the agave (1) and there is a deep poetry in the language used to describe its consumption. Aguamiel, pulque, mezcal, tequila, bacanora, raicilla etc. etc. In some rituals of agricultural abundance pulque was poured onto the ground whilst planting the corn to increase the fertility of the earth and encourage … Continue reading Poetic Language of the Maguey.
Typically vinos de mezcal (1) are made by cooking the heart of the agave (2) either by steaming in an autoclave or by baking in ovens (3) which is then crushed to obtain a sweet juice. This juice is then fermented and then distilled to produce the alcoholic beverages known as mezcal and tequila. Before the notion of Mezcal or Tequila as categories of spirits, … Continue reading Destilado de Pulque
Sotol is a distilled spirit similar in vein to mezcals and tequila that has been sourced from the dasylirion plant. Although previously classed as an agavaceae the dasylirion is a small genus of 18 semi-succulent species in the Nolinoideae (a subfamily of the Asparagaceae) family. The dasylirion is also known commonly as the Desert Spoon. This plant is common to northern Mexico, New Mexico and … Continue reading Sotol.
All tequila is mezcal but not all mezcal is tequila. Tequila and mezcal are both spirits created by the distillation of the juice that has been sourced from the heart of an agave. This heart (or piña) is roasted (in the case of mezcal) or steamed (in the case of tequila) (1) then crushed to obtain the juice. This juice is then fermented and distilled … Continue reading Tequila and Mezcal : A Primer : How to read a tequila or mezcal label.