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  1. #1
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    Native Americans and distilled or fermented spirits

    I was curious if any tribes had practiced distilling/fermenting of any kind..be it corn/maize, wild rice, crab apples, pumpkins, grapes, berries etc. and this article provided the answer...Yes, a few tribes did ferment...the majority did not.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/indians-and-alcohol

    "The Tepehuanes and Tarahumaras, who inhabited territory in modern-day northern Mexico, fermented corn to produce tesvino, which they consumed at ceremonies to mark important stages in an individual's life, such as the passage to adulthood."

    > A variety of maize beer....not quite corn whiskey.

    "The Pimas and Papagos, who continue to inhabit traditional lands in the southwestern United States, extracted an intoxicating juice from saguaro cactus."

    > Tequila like I presume.

    "The Aztecs of Mexico drank pulque, which they fermented from the maguey. Like other indigenous peoples, they believed alcohol had sacred force, that whoever drank it gained access to divine powers. As a result, the Aztecs created elaborate rules for when alcohol could be consumed and who could drink it."

    > Tequila like...often made from agave (maguey).

    "In Maya society drinking balche on certain days allowed macehuales (commoners) to express their emotions freely and thus relieve potential tension that might otherwise exist between them and the principales, who controlled the resources of the society. "

    > "Balche is a kind of mead, an intoxicating beverage consumed by the ancient Maya and by some of their descendants today. These people make the drink in a trough or a canoe, which they fill with water and honey, adding chunks of bark and roots from the balche tree. The mixture begins to ferment immediately. It results in an inebriating drink the people consume during rituals and believe to have magic powers."
    – Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews 2000, ISBN 1576070360

    > "Chicha is a Spanish word for any variety of fermented beverage. It can be made of maize, manioc root (also called yuca or cassava), or fruits, and other things. During the Inca Empire women were taught the techniques of brewing chicha in Acllahuasis (feminine schools). It is traditionally prepared from a specific kind of yellow maize (jora) and is usually referred to as chicha de jora. It has a pale straw color, a slightly milky appearance, and a slightly sour aftertaste, reminiscent of hard apple cider. It is drunk either young and sweet or mature and strong. It contains a slight amount of alcohol, 1-3%."
    http://www.answers.com/topic/chicha-1

    > Algoroba - South American bean beer.

    > Asua - Ecuador maize beer.

    > Atole - corn mush that is sometimes fermented into beer.

    > Cachiri - South American fermented cassava juice.
    Last edited by Jono; 09-10-2008 at 21:29.

  2. #2
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    Re: Native Americans and distilled or fermented spirits

    You didn't mention the best part about pulque. To convert the starch into fermentable sugar they would cut the maguey heart into bite-size pieces and chew them until soft, then spit them into the pot. It was the combination of the maceration and the enzymes in saliva that produced the fermentable sugar. Luckily, the resulting alcohol killed off anything undesirable in the mix, but you were still drinking the whole tribe's spit.

  3. #3
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    Re: Native Americans and distilled or fermented spirits

    Sounds like collecting the backwash spitshare in everyones beer glasses and dumping them together for pouring.....yum....I imagine you would you need a higher alcohol % to kill off most nastys....hand sanitizers have about 60% alcohol.

    http://www.foodsafetynetwork.ca/arti..._factsheet.pdf
    "A range of 60 to 70 per cent alcohol is effective in reducing
    bacteria on the hands. In general, ethanol is better at destroying viruses than isopropanol, however both alcohols are effective at killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses."

    http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/a2z-b.html
    "Ethanol alcohol at 70% is more effective at killing bacteria than at 90 to 100% because the alcohol gets inside the cell better."

    Bourbon should kill off bacteria and viruses in your oral cavity...

  4. #4
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    Re: Native Americans and distilled or fermented spirits

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    You didn't mention the best part about pulque. To convert the starch into fermentable sugar they would cut the maguey heart into bite-size pieces and chew them until soft, then spit them into the pot. It was the combination of the maceration and the enzymes in saliva that produced the fermentable sugar. Luckily, the resulting alcohol killed off anything undesirable in the mix, but you were still drinking the whole tribe's spit.
    I spent several weeks in Peru in 1988. During the trip I sampled many native foods and drinks, including monkey meat wrapped in coconut leaves and steamed, grilled guinea pig, and coconut worms.

    While in the Amazon I watched some of the local tribe making manioc "beer" using the same technique described by Chuck (in this case it was white manioc root, something they eat as well). I was offered some, but this is where I drew the line. I told our interpreter to tell them that I was a non-drinker.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    "Chicha is a Spanish word for any variety of fermented beverage. It can be made of maize, manioc root (also called yuca or cassava), or fruits, and other things. During the Inca Empire women were taught the techniques of brewing chicha in Acllahuasis (feminine schools). It is traditionally prepared from a specific kind of yellow maize (jora) and is usually referred to as chicha de jora. It has a pale straw color, a slightly milky appearance, and a slightly sour aftertaste, reminiscent of hard apple cider. It is drunk either young and sweet or mature and strong. It contains a slight amount of alcohol, 1-3%."
    A couple of weeks later, in the Andes, I had some "chicha" maize beer. Compared to the above description, it was a little darker and, to me, more than "slightly" sour. It was not carbonated. Definitely an acquired taste.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  5. #5
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    Re: Native Americans and distilled or fermented spirits

    Did you leave them with a functioning but primitive still?

 

 

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