The highlands of Jalisco are home to the blue agave maturing for harvest in 7-10 years. There are more than 160 varieties of agave but only the blue represents the best for tequila.
The jimadors harvest roughly over 300 pinas per day using this tool called a ‘coa’, a heavy flat blade hoe tool.
The heart of the agave or piña can cause a bit of an allergic reaction if exposed to the skin, the core is similar to fresh hearts of palm but can make your throat itch.
The pinas are steam roasted for 8 hours in the autoclave and allowed to cool before being removed to the distillery.
The result is a cross between artichoke and a pumpkin, it tastes as delicious as the aroma. The cooked agave is run through the mill to remove all the sugars leaving only a fibrous organic waste that is later composted. The resulting brown liquid is fermented similar to a beer with proprietary yeast and distilled twice, first in a pot and finally in a column.
Some of the results end up in French oak and American oak barrels and are aged, some are blended barrels or SBR, select barrel reserve to make the plata, reposado, and anejo.
The best thing I ate in Morelia was the Criollo Avocado, to date not available in the U.S. You can eat the skin, tastes with a little hint of mint and anise, all you need is a little sea salt for this perfect snack.
All the food was fresh and real, the women of Morelia brought a respected definition to ‘chefs table’.
The center of the Michoacan state which shares its name with Michigan, defined as where ‘fish abound’ in indigenous languages. The native language does not exist anywhere else in Mexico but connects with the Zuni Indians of America. There is over 124 miles of coastline and is the agriculture center of all avocados produced in the world.
The main church is the second highest in all of Mexico, Puebla has the tallest. The cathedral is the only Catholic Church in Mexico dedicated to Christ, not Mary. It is one of 21 churches in the city, each with a dome marking the number of centuries.
The seven arches in most of the buildings to include the convents, monastery and colleges represent perfection. The first college was started by the Jesuits in 1767 who did not have a feminine brand as did other religions. They also took in indigenous boys who would trade time and work for education.
Beautiful colonial town set back in time, center for artisan craftsmanship of textiles, pottery, wood, painting and copper using pre Hispanic methods. The town square is the only one in Mexico not anchored by a church or cathedral. The locals perform a dance mocking the arrival of the Spanish in period costumes worn by the descendants of the Purapecha Indians. Multiple corn stands serving the sweetest and largest kernels of corn. Lunch was unmatched anywhere.
Sunday morning breakfast on the Main Street of Tupataro whose majority of the 300 residents are women. Only on Sundays do they prepare meals for the residents of the town who eat after church. The church was built by the Franciscans in the 16th century with most of the original features, including the wood floors.
First capital of the Purapecha empire on the highlands around the lake of Patzcuaro. There are five pyramids on this current archeological site, each dedicated to the gods of creation. Undefeated by the Aztecs who once lost 10,000 soldiers in one day but succumbed to the colonization of the Spanish in 1525.