Young entrepreneur discovers Mazatlán as a good market for this pre-Hispanic drink
Mazatlán, Sinaloa.- An illness led Alonso Rojas to look for beverage options that did not harm his health so much and one of them was pulque, which later became a business for him.
It was almost a year ago when the 32-year-old was diagnosed with prediabetes, among other causes, due to excessive consumption of beer on weekends.
It currently has two points of sale in Mazatlán, one in Belisario Domínguez and another in Real del Valle.
Born in Escuinapa and raised in Mexico City, where he met this alcoholic beverage, he began to read the myths and benefits in a thesis from the University of Chapingo and the National Polytechnic Institute.
The deities of pulque
The ancient Mexicans, immersed in their perpetual mythology, counted on a deity of the maguey whom they called Mayahuel, who had been kidnapped by Quetzalcóatl, the Feathered Serpent, in the plains that surrounded the city of Tollan, today Tula, to make of her bones will sprout the initials maguey, after the woman had been destroyed by the demons of darkness called tzitzimime. A Mayahuel was considered goddess of fertility and Mother of Centzon Totochtin, the Four Hundred Rabbits, little gods of pulque and Drunkenness.The goddess had four hundred breasts, symbols of fertility, and to her corresponded the glory of having discovered the way to scrape and suck the maguey to obtain the sacred liquid; as well as Pantécatl, her husband, was recognized for having discovered a certain root with which the mead was fermented.
The sons of Mayahuel were rabbit gods whose effigy was engraved on the Moon. They wore a bone crescent on their noses and their faces painted red and black as a symbol of the light and dark parts of the satellite. They carried a shield and their emblem was a jug of pulque; In addition, they wore a heron feather headpiece, paper earmuffs, an insignia of red macaw feathers, and a bead necklace. Figures of scorpions hung from their hips, and they wore bells attached to a strip of deerskin on their legs. His two hands grasped a staff with obsidian at the end. The Centzon Totochtin represented the death and rebirth of nature, so their ceremonial festival took place after the harvest. From the multitude of pulque gods,Tezcatzóncatl, “the one with the house of mirrors on the roof”, Yiauhtécatl, Acolhoa, Tlilhoa, Pantécatl, Izquitécatl, Toltécatl, Papaztac, Tlaltecaioa, Ometochtli, Tepoztécatl, Chimalpanécatl and Colhoatzíncatl stood out.
Then comes the radical change in consumption.
Apart from the ritual use that was made of pulque during the celebrations of the pulque gods and Mayahuel, it was also used in the festivals dedicated to other gods of the Mexica pantheon. For all these ceremonies the Aztecs had various kinds of pulque. They had the iztac octli, white pulque, which we now know as mead; the ayoctli, made with mead rested for several days; these two guys drank at the Batting Party.
The blue pulque, matlaoctli , was drank by the elderly, the married and the main lords in their homes, after the slaves were slaughtered on the Panquetzaliztli festival of the fifth month.
The pulque called texcalceuilo, was drunk by the elders in front of the statue of Milintoc, in his temple in Tlatelolco, during the Izcalli month festival. The so-called uiztli was the new pulque, and the teometl was offered to brave warriors and wise men; and teoctli, came from the gods, was consumed by the priest Ome Tochtli during his religious services.
“It is a different alcoholic drink due to the fermentation process, which although it comes from the maguey is not a distillate like those of tequila or mezcal, it is a totally different process, in addition to the probiotics that this drink has in terms of the bacteria, what they do is consume sugars, that’s why it’s good for diabetes. “
An accident and the Covid-19 pandemic put his profession as a civil engineer on hold with a postgraduate degree in the restoration of architectural monuments.
“I had an accident in Tonalá, in a construction site, after that came my recovery, I moved away a little and to finish the postgraduate degree I needed English, my girl studies in the United States, I went there, the pandemic is coming and we are back here”.
When he arrived from abroad, it was found that Mazatlán had a professional soccer team and they had three suppliers for the sale of shirts for the different teams;
They started to do well and at the same time he was looking for someone to send him the pulque, but it was never thought to market it.
A supplier from Tlaxcala conditioned the shipment to 30 liters of pulque per order and there was talk of difficulties for transportation because it is a delicate drink, but finally, it arrived, however, it was not the one he liked.
“It was a lot of pulque for me and what I thought was to refrigerate it and consume it little by little, but I said here there are people who know and consume it and I published it on Facebook, that I had 15 liters available and in less than half an hour they left, it was people from other states who live here and only two Mazatlecos. “
Later, people kept asking about pulque and it was then that together with his brother Eduardo they looked for another supplier, now from Hidalgo, with better quality and flavor.
The condition was clear, at least 30 liters per order, but they organized and began to raise orders, on that occasion they asked for 40 liters and that is how Real del Pulque Mazatlán was born.
“Customers were adding more, then it was 60 liters and then we ran out of product, we are now bringing about 160 liters to distribute weekly.”
Alonso comments that they have been invited to different bazaars with good results and they have two points of sale, one in Belisario Domínguez and the other in Real del Valle.
Few alcoholic beverages like pulque have historically gone from bad fame to social recognition, from an almost extinct industry to a slow resurrection today.
In Mexico City, pulquerías that are almost a century old resist, also Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, Querétaro, Puebla, and Oaxaca are very popular.
- Pulque is a traditional fermented drink from Mexico, whose origin is pre-Hispanic and is made from the fermentation of sap, popularly known in Mexico as mead, agave or maguey, in particular of two types, for that reason both called pulquero maguey: Agave salmiana and Agave atrovirens.
- It has a graduation in alcohol between 4 and 6 degrees. The maguey takes between 8 and 12 years to reach sufficient maturity to be able to coat. The mead is scraped and extracted.
Contact Facebook page Real Del Pulque Mazatlán click here