Saturday, 8 December 2007
In Search of Blue Agave
The blue agave heart weighs between 40 and 220 pounds. One way to prepare them for fermentation is to bake the hearts or piñas in an oven for 24 hours, converting the plants starches to fermentable sugars. More modern techniques involve shredding the heart of the plant and cooking the pulp in a giant pressure cooker
Ninety percent of the tequila exported to the gringos in the US is not made from 100% blue agave. It is inferior product diluted with alcohol made from other grains such as corn.
Last week I saw an old Marlon Brando western. He wears a sombrero in a small Mexican town and drinks a disgusting green jar of pulque while talking to a villain with horrible facial scars. Pulque is to tequila as beer is to single malt scotch.
Mrs. Phred is tied up in a tennis tournament today. At noon I track her down. She's only played two of five matctes. I tell her I am wanting to search for a decent margarita. She nods approval.
At the Target department store, I buy four large margarita glasses, a metal drink shaker and a holographic blinking window Menorah for the RV (an impulse purchase). I look for a plastic dashboard Jesus with a bobbing head, but they must be sold out (it is Christmas). I pick up 10 fresh limes at the grocery store. At the liquor store I get a bag of ice, a high-end bottle of orange liqueur and a $50 bottle of tequila made from 100% blue agave tequila.
I wet one of the new glasses and line the rim with salt.
My first glass is:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1/4 cup blue agave tequila
My second glass uses 1/2 cup tequila...I like it better...
This is the best margarita I've had since last New Year's Eve in Mesilla, New Mexico on the border at the Double Eagle Saloon...I've been hopefully drinking bad margaritas ever since.. now I need to get a blender and try frozen margaritas....
I was worried this year about the blue agave because of a decline in the Mexican Fruit Bat population. They fertilize the agave like bumblebees...however, now I know that the clever Mexicans analyze the DNA of the real blue agave and produce thousands of plants from a single cell...without the help of fruit bats...