GTFO of Oaxaca!

After a lovely dinner in Oaxaca where we nibbled on spicy chapulines (grasshoppers) and other beautifully presented Oaxacan dishes and washed them down with locally brewed beer, we made a team decision to depart for Tuxtla at 9am.

We woke up in the morning and took our time getting ready and I sent a message to our friend Luciano inviting him to breakfast. He said he had to do a surgery and asked if we were aware of protesters closing the entrances to the city. We are no strangers to these protests and decided to GTFO! Hired a cab to help us traverse the city on the way to Tuxtla and drove past the university where the teachers were assembling for the protest. Once outside of the city, we pulled over for a little breakfast.

  
    

  
We were about to drive away when we noticed this still. Mezcal. And got a tour from the dude doin’ it! Sr. Mateo!

   
First, the maguey is defoliated and the piñas ( heart of the succulent resembling a pineapple) are collected.

   
The stone oven pit which is 3 meters below ground is layered with first a hot wood burning fire covered with rocks and topped with the piñas, which cook for four days.

  
The cooked piñas are chopped.

   

Then placed in this grinder that Oscar the horse mashes with this stone grinder.

   
Julio says that the can on his face is to keep him from eating the product. The mashed fiberous material is then fermented.

   
We don’t have an excuse for not remembering the next process, like perhaps drinking the product, but it involves the signature of the maker, the art of it. And after that it is distilled.

   
And voila! Out it comes!

  
This is Sr. Matteo’s private stash of reposado behind me and the maker…not for sale.

  

  
After our disco tour of his mezcal distillery, we headed to Tuxtla with Conrad and Dave leading the way in EPV. A long, curvy drive up the mountains and down into a valley. The protesters did have their way with our progress at a toll booth, where we stopped on the side of the freeway for about 30 mins.

  
  
  

  
Alas! We made it to Tuxtla!

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