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Bubba

Jun 11, 2004, 9:57 PM

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The Subject of Mescal

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Bubba enjoys distilled spirits and, among those he cherishes are tequila and mescal. He looks forward to his periodic trips to Oaxaca when he can enjoy the native moonshine type mescal offered him by his Zapotec friends. He has imbibed in this concoction freely in past rituals among his Zapotec acquaintances but has just been told by his Guadalajara doctor today that this is a dangerous liquid that can cause severe liver damage. Have any of you heard of this problem? Is this a true concern or a Mexican societal conceit?

Any input?



TomG

Jun 12, 2004, 6:19 AM

Post #2 of 13 (4795 views)

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Re: [Bubba] The Subject of Mescal

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Bubba.....I see this was written last night around 10 PM, I'm sorry for the delay. You have my sincerest apologies for letting you hang all night long while I slept peacefully. I hope you were at least able to doze off for a few minutes from time to time.

I don’t have a thing for you on mescal…other than words of support. I just don’t know anything about it at that level of medicine. Nevertheless, in a nonprofessional’s good faith allow me to suggest this: until you know something definitive from a higher source you could ratchet back a notch and drink pulque. That is as long as you are out of towns and in a dependable village environment. It doesn’t have the kick, but it is widely thought to be a highly nutritious and healthful drink. One feature of it you will like is that you cannot let it lay around in the sun for a few hours without it taking off on you, so to speak…..so there is some natural pressure on you to drink it before it over-ferments, and nobody will think poorly of you if you drink it before (or for) breakfast.

For a hundred pesos you can without a doubt get a second contradictory medical opinion anywhere in Oaxaca. Or you could play the gringo card and pay 400 pesos for the same consult, but have it carry more weight using the axiom “you get what you pay for”. If this isn’t sufficient, you could go down to the Central de Abastos to the witchcraft section and buy a Saint Death statue and some paraphernalia as a prophylactic to block the cruel liver attacking spirit right at the bottleneck. Nip it in the bub so to speak.

I hope this helps. If anyone comes along with medically sound information take it with a grain of salt, a shot of tequila, and some lime.


Uncle Jack


Jun 12, 2004, 6:47 AM

Post #3 of 13 (4792 views)

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Re: [Bubba] The Subject of Mescal

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Bubba Boy;

I think that the problem the doctor refers to is the moonshine aspect rather than the Mescal itself. Backyard booze is notorious for impurities and "additives". Same goes for the bootleg raicilla found over around PV. Do your liver and all of us a favor....stick with Herradura.

uj


Bubba

Jun 12, 2004, 11:27 AM

Post #4 of 13 (4754 views)

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Re: [Uncle Jack] The Subject of Mescal

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OMIGOD UJ and TOM:

So far this year, I have imbibed on raicilla (not bad - made in the nearby jungle) on the beach at Yelapa, mescal from a community shot glass at a fiesta in Teotitlan del Valle outside of Oaxaca City and some mighty fine double martinis on the River Walk in San Antonio. I also got my booze legs at an early age drinking moonshine made out on the old Ghost Road near Fort Deposit, Alabama back in the 50s. I should will my liver to the AA Institute for Advanced Studies.

No Tom, I did not wait up all night in a nervous frenzy awaiting your reply but, when it finally came, it was amusing as usual.

My doctor is a nice guy but an upper class Mexican elitest who practices in a very fancy hospital in Guadalajara. He had asked me if I liked Mexican food and I had told him of the fiesta I attended in Teotitlan and the good mescal the folks were passing around there. Further, I told him that I intended to sell my truck to one of my hosts and the sales price included cash, a couple of rugs and a case of Teotitlan's finest homemade mescal in several flavors. Upper class Mexicans are often appalled when told by Gringos that they partake of food and drink in rural Mexico. It seems that he and other doctors, meeting in Cancun (of course), had decided that mescal was dangerous and could give you hepatitis - especially if you are an extranjero. Methinks the communal shot glass is more dangerous that the liquid therein.

As an aside, one of our best friends who is a sales manager for a company importing a number of French wines, travels extensively and lives in hoity-toity Connecticut, has been the victim of food-borne parasites twice this year after traveling to France and Manhattan for foodie adventures. We told her she should move down here where the food is safe.

Wouldn't pulque be more dangerous than its distilled cousin? Maybe I will try that as well next time and see which one makes me sickest.

Oh, and hopefully without offending anyone I must state that , my doctor's contention that Mexican food and fresh vegetables are among the finest in the world, is about as far off the mark as one can get. I think my doctor was recollecting some gastronomic adventures in Mexico City, an anomaly in this country if there ever was one, and maybe doesn't shop the vegetable markets for himself.

That hospital in Guadalajara had mighy good chilaquiles for breakfast, however. No XX Lager to wash them down with, I'm afraid. Imagine that, good hospital food.

Bubba the Food Critic


esperanza

Jun 12, 2004, 12:17 PM

Post #5 of 13 (4742 views)

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Re: [Bubba] The Subject of Mescal

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Ay ay ay Bubba, you have obviously not had really good Mexican food yet. Where have you been eating? The best food in Mexico is in private homes, and man oh man it is out of this world. Clearly it is very different from haute French food, but not so far removed from French provincial cooking as you might think. I was visiting with friends in the way-out-back of Michoacán not so long ago and we breakfasted on lovely little split-open lamb kidneys swimming in a red salsa picante sopped up with handmade tortillas.

And I too came home from my last trip to France with--guess what! Typhoid. My doctor here said that I had probably contracted it from eating unpasteurized cheeses, of which I ate one ton during the course of six weeks. St. Marcellin...*sigh*, so delicious. It took three months and four full courses of antibiotics to get rid of the typhoid bugs; that's how serious a case I had.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









wendy devlin

Jun 12, 2004, 2:17 PM

Post #6 of 13 (4727 views)

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Re: [Bubba] The Subject of Mescal

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Well Bubba, there's probably not much I could tell someone who got their booze legs at an early age drinking moonshine...but I'll give it a shot:)

Methinks that you may be on to something regarding what your good doctor may or may not consider a healthy drink...but consider my theory that the best tequilas never make it far out of Jalisco.

I base this on several explorations in the field...and
shots of tequila from various bottles and kegs from Jaliscan hosts has confirmed the belief that the best stuff is saved for savoring among family and friends and for clinching deals after considerable time spent 'schmoozing'.

However on occasion I have also sampled mezcal from Jalisco under the watchful eye of my friend's cattle-buying father...to discover wonders upon wonders, that it's taste rivalled(dare I say this publically!!!!) rivalled some of those special tequilas.

And finding too, that the drink was shared along with a strong measure of Jalisco pride.

Arbon however can testify that one must NEVER (unless wishing to 'fly') drink near the bottom of small glass mickey bottles syphoned from huge barrels in the back of tiendas in Pochutla by beautiful, young women.

As for traditional pulque, I have not partaken and may never now...

Since recently reading the following tidbit supposedly gleaned from the website 'In Search of the Blue Agave'.

Anyone care to confirm or deny this info?


>>>Pulque makers sometimes use various fruit to accelerate fermentation. In traditional pulque, a muñeca ("doll") was used - a rag or sock filled with human feces and dipped to start the fermentation process.>>>


TomG

Jun 12, 2004, 4:30 PM

Post #7 of 13 (4705 views)

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Re: [Bubba] The Subject of Mescal

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In Reply To
Upper class Mexicans are often appalled when told by Gringos that they partake of food and drink in rural Mexico. It seems that he and other doctors, meeting in Cancun (of course), had decided that mescal was dangerous and could give you hepatitis - especially if you are an extranjero. Methinks the communal shot glass is more dangerous that the liquid therein.


Communal shot glass! Bubba! Your small town friends must be upscale. If you are not drinking your mescal out of used plastic 2-litre coke bottles, you are not among common folk. I told you those Zapotecs in Teotitlan de Valle were way too uppity.

As for you selling your truck for money and various goods....Oh, man! You have got to render a full report of how that goes. I'd say be careful, but jeez you are a banker. A banker going head to head with a Teotitlan rug dealer in a multi-goods swap. Quien sabe.


In Reply To
As an aside, one of our best friends who is a sales manager for a company importing a number of French wines, travels extensively and lives in hoity-toity Connecticut, has been the victim of food-borne parasites twice this year after traveling to France and Manhattan for foodie adventures. We told her she should move down here where the food is safe.


You get what you pay for = hoity-toity parasites. There is a lot more honor in that.




In Reply To
Wouldn't pulque be more dangerous than its distilled cousin? Maybe I will try that as well next time and see which one makes me sickest.


Pulque is a tricky. That is why I recommend drinking it as far away from cities as you can. You need to be way out past where it pays to juice it up. Pulque is not strong, I would say less strong then beer. It's real soul food, and tasty. There is also a cane concoction made the same way to about the same strength. Cane >< maguey - take the maguey, which is the pulque. My guess is that maguey juice is in a whole different class from cane nutritionally.

As for Wendy's negative rumor on the origins of the activator in pulque: jeez, I didn't detect any aftertaste. Quien sabe. I'm going to ask around. I know F's family to be real broad range homebrew makers. R. and I just sipped the finals on an reused glass liquor bottle-full of some mighty smooth orange homebrewed liquor. They are my capauline suppliers as well.


Oh, and your doctor: you need to get that guy a pair of tennis shoes, then get him out and show him Mexico. Talk about gringos living in a bubble, some Mexicans can match them isolation for isolation.

Keep your sails in the wind;
tom


(This post was edited by TomG on Jun 12, 2004, 4:34 PM)


Bubba

Jun 12, 2004, 5:02 PM

Post #8 of 13 (4696 views)

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Re: [TomG] The Subject of Mescal

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Y'all are cracking the old redneck up.

I must say that whether one is eating in the rural South Alabama of Bubba's youth, the Loire Valley of Bubba's middle passage or the Mexico of bubba's excellent latter years, food and drink prepared in the homes of the locals is almost always far and away superior to that experienced in commercial establishments thereabouts.

I regret, Esperanza, that. upon your visit to the maison de Bubba, we did not share with you the aperitif concoction we made from the Seville Oranges grown in our yard here in Ajijic and made from an old recipe from Tours. Next time you bring the kidneys and tortillas and we will supply the drinks. And, if one is to get sick, get me sick on unpasturized French cheeses, Baby Jesus, and homemade French farmer's calvados from his personal apple orchard thank you very much! I'd rather endure the potential resulting liver crisis from that than spend a week or more in bed from a Carl's Jr.

Every place on Earth, with the possible exception of Kansas, has something to offer to the willing.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jun 12, 2004, 5:44 PM)


wendy devlin

Jun 12, 2004, 6:11 PM

Post #9 of 13 (4681 views)

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Re: [Bubba] The Subject of Mescal

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This is the brand to watch out for.
Note the graphics etched in nail-polish!

As for those young women...they were dark-haired, vivacious and smiling...you'll know them when you spot 'em!



Bubba

Jun 12, 2004, 6:20 PM

Post #10 of 13 (4675 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] The Subject of Mescal

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By the way, WendyD, whatever happened to mi amigo Arbon. Bubba misses his "humor". Did you shoot him or give him a bottle of that mescal? The latter transit would have taken longer but been more fun.


wendy devlin

Jun 12, 2004, 8:03 PM

Post #11 of 13 (4662 views)

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Re: [Bubba] The Subject of Mescal

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Well BamaBoy,

First let us clear up some questions of identity:)

I'm not to be confused with a person called WendyD who frequents another Chapala message board.

As for Arbon, he lives...rather well.

And is keeping busy with marauding black bears and raccoons.


wendy devlin

Jun 12, 2004, 8:20 PM

Post #12 of 13 (4657 views)

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Re: [Bubba] The Subject of Mescal

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One other little thingee...

how is it that when men get of a certain age...they start wandering off-topic so easily?

You mention, 'Vanilla ice cream' on a Mexican food forum...and they say things like, "I remember that girl."Smile

Happy Father's Day, guys!


Rolly


Jun 12, 2004, 8:35 PM

Post #13 of 13 (4653 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] The Subject of Mescal

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>how is it that when men get of a certain age...they start wandering off-topic so easily?

Ah...one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Consider this: Why does the wife remember everything the other women were wearing at the party while the husband only remembers if it was tight or loose?

Rolly Pirate
 
 
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