My last video from Mexico for a while. For this video, I want to introduce you to one of Mexico's longest running traditions. Drinking pulque. I'll admit, I need more than one hand to count how many times I've been to Mexico, but this is the first time I've been in Mexico and even HEARD of this drink. And once I found out about it, I could hardly get enough of it.
The story of pulque begins over 1,000 years ago. Some think as far back as 2,000 years. Well before the Spanish set foot in the continent. It's made by collecting the sap from agave plants that grow in abundance in Mexico and let it ferment for a few days to a week. There are many myths and legends about it, most of which have to do with the gods that the natives worshiped. Therefore it's referred to as "The Drink of the Gods". One story says that maguey (agave) sap, which makes pulque, is the actual blood of the maguey goddess, Mayahuel.
The very cool thing is that it is still being made to this day in much the same way as thousands of years ago. It has waned in popularity mostly due to the rise in popularity and production of beer. Since it has such a short shelf life before it spoils, the only possible way to export it is to can it, which changes the flavor and ruins the authenticity. So for now, the only place to experience fresh pulque is to go to Mexico yourself and get it straight from the barrel.
I collaborated with Nathan from Foodie Flashpacker since I volunteered to write a short segment for one of his blog posts. You can read that here. We met up with a new friend, Louise and went to the pulqueria. It was Nathan's first time trying pulque. They give you the option of order the plain pulque which they call blanco, or the ones mixed with a fruity concoction called curado. I ordered the blanco, the other two ordered the strawberry curado.
The plain pulque is quite slimy from the agave juice and sour if they don't add sugar to it. The curados are almost a milkshake thickness and much sweeter than the plain kind. It also depends on the place you get it. Every place it's different.
Drinking pulque became one of my favorite Mexican pasttimes and you can only experience it in Mexico. I hope you get to experience it. It's possible that pulque culture will die out or focus more on canning and exporting to keep up profits. Who wants canned cactus juice? Honestly.
Have you heard of pulque before?