Monday, May 10, 2010

Pan De Pulque

Growing up in one of Laredo's barrios, I was exposed to many things popular with our culture.  But only recently had I heard of pulque.  That has a lot to do, I guess, with being raised by three wonderful women.  Wine coolers or other spirits were present during holidays but that was it.

At a family gathering at my suegra's house this weekend, my brother-in-law brought in some Megapan de Pulque.  I didn't ask him where he got it but he mentioned that it's sometimes made with river water.  I didn't taste it, not with what I've read about pulque.  Here's a passage from James Garza's The Imagined Underworld:
Patrons could order pulque either puro (plain) or in a fruit-flavored variety, known as a curado.  The liquid resembled a mildy-white substance, with qualities ranging from slimy to acrid to foul and with a smell described as resembling slightly putrid meat.  Often it was adulterated with sewer water, and it commonly produced stomach and intestinal problems.  Pulque boasted a low alcoholic content, so customers had to drink large amounts to feel any effiects.
(Emphasis is mine)
Having read that, I wasn't so eager to try any pan de pulque.  I'll get to it eventually but will make sure I have some Pepto close by.
This, however, is a perfect example of how our culture is hiding in plain sight and most of us overlook it.  Practices of old are slowly fading from our consciousness.  Our children will probably never know the story of La Llorona, be cured with an egg, or swept for good luck with a branch from a pirul.

I was raised on homemade flour tortillas, but we also downed a lot of Happy Meals.  My son, sadly, has only tasted the tortillas served up at Taco Palenque.  Things have certainly changed.  Luckily he's still young;  We can still catch up on old remedies and recipes.  The pulque, however, will have to remain a topic of discussion and not of consumption.


Anonymous said...

___i been to el cerro de nuevo leon generalmente en doctor arroyo where the campesinos que van a trabajar a la milpa se juntan en le "pulqueria" antes del amanecer a prbar el Pulque sabiendo que les espera un largo dia trabajando en el sol, ademas se llevan un botella de soda (coke) llena del liquido blance para ingerir durante el largo dia, cuando terminan se trabajo al caer el sol, otra vez se reunen en la pulqueria para ingerir de nuevo su Pulque, luego para la casa a dormir y solo pa repetir sus acciones en el nuevo dia .. .. ..

rick78 said...

Don't forget tepache , a pineapple fermented drink, is also a low cost alcohol refreshment .

Anonymous said...

Don't forget...Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated in Mexico and is promoted by Corona beer to make more sales in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

No wonder they used to called Pan CaCa!

KeyRose said...


Tepache? Interesting.

Nortejano said...

The best pulque is found outside of Mexico City. It was marginalized in the 19th and early 20th centuries as being "too Indian"-pulquerias are great places to hang out in el DF.

You can still unfortunately get sick from drinking it-if the water is bad or the pulque is more than 24 hours old.

Anonymous said...

Weird, I don't see any sewer water in the mix...

7 huevos separando yemas y claras
½ taza de pulque
250 grs. de azúcar
½ kg. de harina cernida 3 veces
325 grs. de mantequilla derretida fría
1 cucharada de levadura para pan en polvo.


Las claras se baten con pulque de 5 a 8 minutos.

Se agregan poco a poco las yemas, azúcar, harina, mantequilla y levadura, sin dejar de batir hasta que quede bien mezclado.

La mezcla se vierte en el molde engrasado y enharinado previamente.

Se mete al horno, a 220 °C, de 25 a 30 minutos.