Before Ilona and I left Oaxaca last week, we took a trip with our B&B host Alvin to a village to meet a family who makes Pulque. Pulque is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of the agave plant. You can drink that juice fresh as well and it’s known as “aqua miel”. I was really interested in how the juice is collected so Alvin arranged a tour with a family who we met earlier that week at the market. We got to their house around 5pm to watch them harvest the juice. The process begins first thing in the morning when a family member goes to the field to carve a well into the agave plant. As the day progresses, the juice collects into the well until it is harvested at around 5pm. We were there to witness the harvesting, which is a pretty simple process consisting of a person sticking a tube into the well and then sucking it’s contents into a container. The farmer-whose name I have forgotten gave us a taste of the liquid which was served in a gourd. It was quite sweet with an interesting after taste which I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Ilona said it tasted like honey, which is quite a fitting description since the name of the drink translates to “honey water”. She proceeded to drink the entire contents of the gourd-so I guess she thought it was pretty good. I ended up drinking the pulque which the farmer’s wife had brought along for us to compare. To me pulque tastes a bit like new wine-or slightly fermented juice. Kind of sweet with a little sourness. You can taste pulque in different stages of fermentation. I preferred the first stage which was still quite sweet. I felt that the second and third stage or the 2nd or 3rd day of fermentation made it taste rather like vinegar. By the way, pulque is really a rural drink-you wouldn’t find it at a restaurant, for example. So if you want to try it, you have to come to Mexico!
Now I really want to try pulque! Thanks a lot for the posting.
It sounds like it was a wonderful visit. Keep exploring and writing! You’ve started writing your book – an investigative travelogue with a food theme.