Mexicans can be very serious people. They don´t f around when it comes to certain things…like selecting just the right chile pepper (from what seems like hundreds) for each special sauce; painting building facades in an array of fun colors that make even the most desolate city block look way more cheery and inviting than 18th and Castro (sorry, boys); and honoring the various Catholic Virgins whose pictures dangle from the rear view mirrors of most Mexican taxicabs. But above all, I´m learning, Mexican are serious about the agave plant (pictured above).
Before coming to Mexico, I knew that agave was used to make tequila. Little did I know, it has all sorts of exciting forms, not least of which is pulque. According to this tequila education website, “pulque (Tequila's predecessor) is fermented from the uncooked agave syrup or nectar that collects in the hollowed head of the plant…resulting in a sweet, milky and fruity drink, rich in vitamins. Its content is 100% natural.”
While “Aztecs were very strict about pulque's use (only priests were allowed to drink a fifth glass to help keep them in the mood for their frequent ritual sacrifice and cannibalism),” this rule does not seem to apply to the late-night hipsters in John´s little corner of the city.
Marisa, for one, will sing the praises of this milky carbonated beverage…in flavors ranging from pineapple to oatmeal (ew). Meanwhile, when it comes to agave, my heart belongs, for now, to the spiritually devoid and gloriously trashy permeation popular among America´s fine youth and dedicated wedding party members alike--the tequila shot. ¡Ole!