Out of all of Mexico's "disgusting" meals, from menudo to grasshoppers to salamanders to chicharrones, none is more notorious than pulque, the fermented sap of the agave plant that's the oldest alcoholic drink in the Western Hemisphere, if not the world. The earliest reports back to the United States in the 1800s asserted that human excrement was involved in the fermentation process, a claim so wildly wrong yet believable because the taste at its best is resolutely earthy--like wheatgrass cut by mud--with the consistency of warm spit. And remember: this is pulque at its best.
Pulque has slowly disappeared from the Mexican landscape over the past century, but it's currently experience a renaissance among Mexico's hipsters. They get the fresh stuff, which gets stale and truly nasty within a week. But pulque's cult is such among its that fans exiled in los Estados Unidos will subject themselves to drinking it from a can. And that's where Hacienda 1881 comes in.
This is bona fide pulque, canned in Mexico and derived from agaves from Tlaxcala. But the drink--to put it nicely--no es bueno. The most charitable description I can give it is that it tastes like a glass of the water that forms when you leave sour cream in the fridge for too long; the worst description I can give...well, I ain't going to gross folks out with that one.
If you want to try it for yourself, you can find it at some Northgate González supermarkets, but you should save your pesos there for Jenni Rivera tequila. But the craziest thing about pulque in a can is that it doesn't matter that it's gross: Mexicans are buying it. And guess who's making hundreds of thousands of dollars off the product every year? A gabacha from Chicago. And the American appropriation game of Mexican food goes on...and how much you wanna bet American hipsters start stocking it in their bars come springtime?
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