Pulque Curado de Mango

A couple weeks back, I was wandering in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC, making my usual rounds at the Mexican taquerias and grocery stores (admittedly, this is an all too regular event) when I found myself gobbling a huitlacoche taco at the excellent Tehuitzingo.  After a satisfying meal, I strolled past the beverage cooler, where amid the Mexican Coca-Cola, Jumex fruit nectars, and cervezas, I spotted a strange can that I had never seen before.  But I knew instantly what it was.  Pulque; my Shangri-La of bebidas. The odd fermented agave elixir, that defies description.  It’s odd, and delicious, and is off-putting at first, but grows on you quickly until you find yourself with the warmest, most pleasant alcohol buzz.  If you find yourself drinking it in the sun, you also find it exceedingly refreshing.  Pulque has magical properties. And after decades of being marginalized in the face of commercial beer and tequila production, finally[1] people[2] are[3] noticing[4].

Canned pulque, however, isn’t the same.  It has been pasteurized, which neutralizes much of its beneficial digestive properties (particularly lactobacillus, the same bacteria that turns milk into yogurt).  Compared to the real-deal, the flavor just isn’t the same.  But it’s not bad.  And plain pulque isn’t the only beverage on offer in a pulqueria.  Pulque curado is just as popular, which is pulque natural blended with any number of fruits (strawberry, pineapple, or prickly pear most common), coconut, almond, or even celery.  I searched a few sites and combined a few recipes to arrive at this delicious mango curado.

Source:  http://cocinajarocha.blogspot.com/2008/10/pulque-curado-estilo-perote-veracruz.html

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans pulque (appx. 650mL)
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped mango
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon)

 

Steps:

  1. Pulverize the half cinnamon stick by dropping it through the hole in the lid of a running blender, and quickly seal the lid.  Stop the blender once  the cinnamon is mostly pulverized.
  2. In the blender jar, add sweetened condensed milk, mango and pulque.  Blend until liquified.
  3. Pour mixture into a bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill for ~1 hour.
  4. Before serving, pass mixture through a medium strainer to remove the stringy mango pulp and any larger cinnamon chunks.
  5. Serve chilled and in a glass (or ceramic mug if you’re a stickler for tradition).
This was really, really good.  All of the flavors smoothly blend together, each one propelling the other into prominence.  And considering that the pulque packs 6% alcohol by volume, it goes down very easy.  The cinnamon highlights the tang of the mango and pulque.  The sweetness propelling the bite of the cinnamon. And the maltiness of the pulque holds all the flavors together.  Finally, the evaporated milk makes it frothy and dessert-like.  If you can find canned pulque this is an excellent use for it.  But good luck, I’m tapping my one and only source dry and until they restock, I have no idea where to go for more.

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