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Unusual Rituals of the Tequila Pulque Fermentation Process

Unusual Rituals of the Tequila Pulque Fermentation Process

Pulque arises from the heart of the blue maguey, or blue agave, that if pierced at adulthood creates a sweet juice identified as aguamiel, or honey water. In the Codex Borbonicus from the 1530s, written by Aztec priests, you can find a pictograph of the goddess of maguey, Mayahuel, holding a pot of the creamy sap.

The maguey fluid accumulates at the center of the maguay, awaiting exposure. Once set for harvesting, the obtained aguamiel is put in fifty liter drums and brought from the farm towards the fermentation vats. These vats, known as “tinas”, are stationed in a specialized plant described as a “tinacal”. This expression comes from Nahuatl, “tina” and “calli” and translates to “House of Vats”. When pulque haciendas reached their pinnacle in the late 19th century, hacienda life centered around these tinacals. It frequently was a rectangle shed of natural stone with a real wood roof. The higher areas of the walls opened for air flow flow and the facades were generally decorated with native patterns or various pictures connected with the creating of pulque. One very popular concept was a art work of the breakthrough discovery of pulque by Xochitl, an Aztec god. Other preferred images included the image of the hacienda’s patron saint and the Virgin of Guadalupe. Within the structure are the vats, which usually were were cowhide stretched over timber frames lined up alongside the walls. In more substantial tinacals there were 3 or four lines of vats. These days, the tinas are designed of oak, plastic or fiberglass and hold approximately 1,000 liters each.

Immediately after putting the aguamiel into the fermentation vats, adult seed pulque (semilla or Xanaxtli) is put in to the routinely occurring yeast to “jump start” the advancement. When compared to beer, the fermenting providers found in the seed of pulque are bacterias of the varieties Zymomonas mobilis rather then yeast. Those people in control of the fermentation practice keep their trade secrets, transferring them from father to son. Fermentation normally requires from seven to fourteen days, and the procedure is an art. A variety of factors can certainly affect fermenting pulque like ambient temperature, humidity and the overall quality of the agave.

The procedure is intricate and delicate, and could possibly go completely wrong at any time. For this factor, and potentially as a consequence of its longstanding “sacred” identity, there are traditions and prohibitions. Spiritual music and praying may likely be offered, and women, children and guests are not authorized inside the tinacal. Other types of superstitions include those against ingesting canned fish and wearing a cap inside of the tinacal. Fish is professed to result in a poor flavour in the pulque, while headgear is considered bad luck. To stop the bad luck, the wrongdoer must fill the hat with pulque and ingest it straight.

Ahead of the height of fermentation, the pulque is quickly delivered to the marketplace in casks. The fermentation operation is continual, so the pulque must be consumed within a particular time frame or it could spoil.

In these days pulque is making a comeback, with new pulquerias popping up in Mexico and major American areas. Could pulque rise from the dead? Make some space tequila, pulque is back in style.

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