Posts Tagged ‘Palenque’

Yesterday, friends from California invited me to accompany them on one of their favorite pastimes — going to the source for artisanal mezcal. At our first stop, the palenque of Félix Ángeles Arellanes, Mezcal El Minerito, we were just in time to watch the beginning of the process of cooking the agave piñas.

The art of making mezcal at the palenque, Mezcal El Minerito.

Piling river rocks onto the red and white hot coals in the earthen pit that functions as the horno (oven).

Covering the rocks with bagaso (recycled crushed agave fibers).

Putting the long tobasiche agave piñas into the oven.

Adding the more rounded jabalí and tobalá piñas.

Topping it off with more tobasiche piñas.

Covering the piñas with more bagaso.

Félix’s sons worked nonstop — an hour and fifteen minutes from the time of the first photo, they covered the mound with tarps to enclose the oven. Though we didn’t see it, I suspect this was then sealed with soil.

Félix pours the “Nectar of the Gods” — a multilayered and complex artisanal mezcal.

Nothing like being at the right place at the right time. And, yes, we not only watched, we tasted and we bought!

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Looking back and appreciating life in Oaxaca, 2018.

IMG_4678 WolfMoon & Pistachio_Jan

January – View through the terrace pistachio tree of full Wolf Moon.


February – Guest helping to harvest Waje dinner at Rancho 314 urban farm in Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán.


March – Reyna Mendoza Ruiz demonstrating metate technique at El Sabor Zapoteco cooking class in Teotitlán del Valle.


April – Pit for cooking agave piñas to make mezcal at the palenque of Faustino Garcia in San Baltazar Chichicapa(m).


May – Tlacolulokos mural in Tlacolula de Matamoros.


June – Summer afternoon on the Zócalo in Oaxaca city.


July – Feria del Barro Rojo in San Marcos Tlapazola.


August – Fundación En Via microfinance tour to San Miguel del Valle.


September – Protest by students from the Escuela Normal Bilingüe e Intercultural de Oaxaca.


October – Celebrating el Señor del Rayo at the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.


November – At the home/workshop of filigree maestro, José Jorge García García.


December – Pop-up sale in Oaxaca city by the Las Sanjuaneras weavers from San Juan Colorado.

Feliz año nuevo y muchisimas gracias to all my wonderful blog readers from near and far!  Thank you for reading, for commenting, for sharing, for the opportunity to meet some of you, and for inspiring me to continue.  Onward to 2019!!!

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Early yesterday morning, standing on my terrace, I gazed up, beyond the twin bell towers and dome of the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, at a hilltop only a few miles to the west… platforms of the ancient Zapotec capital of Monte Albán, one of the four Classic cities of Middle America, visible in the clear mountain air. It’s one of those sights that takes my breath away and I never cease feeling privileged to be living here, among its descendants.
Monte Albán
Then there was last night… At the base of this ancient city that once commanded the Y-shaped valley of Oaxaca, a gringo friend and I sat in my apartment, again looking west, but this time, not at the hills beyond, but at the TV in the immediate foreground. Instead of imagining those early ballgames played up on Monte Albán, we were engrossed by the modern day skills, of the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, played under a dome in a $1.2 billion dollar stadium.
TV showing 2011 Super Bowl
For you non (American) football fans, it was Super Bowl Sunday. The game was exciting… the Packers won (yay!)… and members of the losing team weren’t ritually sacrificed!

This particular juxtaposition seems to be developing into a pattern… Last year, a friend and I cheered as the New Orleans Saints defeated Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV…
Hotel TV showing 2010 Super Bowl in Palenque
… from our room, in a hotel carved out of the jungle, just a couple of miles from the stunning Mayan ruins of Palenque.
Hmmm… I wonder where I will be next year?

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