The cactus from which the tequila is made
This Saturday I went with most of the other volunteers from my organisation to Tequila, the town from which the drink first came.
We went to the National Tequila museum where we were told in a terrible English translation (possible courtasy of Freetranslation.com) about the history of Tequila...
Tequila drink. First aformentioned made by people local in sixteen century from cactus middle, not distilled but fermentation by people natural... you get the idea!
We then headed out to a nearby factory where we were given a short tour of the factory and the manufacturing process. At first I wasn´t sure what was wierd about the factory and then I realised that it was not running. The factory stopped for lunch, and only ran when there was demand, which doesn´t seem particularly efficient, but does seem very Mexican. The others thought I was crazy to have even thought about that and asked the questions about productivity but I guess that´s the engineer in me. After having to don hardhats, high-vis jackets and steeltoes shoes for my last factory tour - around the site where I will be working for Unilver, it also felt a bit strange to be walking about
Vat of bubbling, fermenting agave juice. Stage 2 of the tequila process.
a very similar facility in a halter-neck and flipflops!
Outside we saw the blue agave plants, from which tequila is made, growing and then inside the guide showed us the ovens where the centre parts of the agave cacti are first baked. Then we saw the vats of fermenting juice and the distillers where the liquor is strengthened. Then we saw the barrels where the more expensive stuff is aged before being bottled and the museum showing pictures of the family who owned this factory and some tools etc used for the harvest. We then tried 5 different qualities of tequila - the older, more expensive ones definately being better - you don´t have to gag after you´ve swallowed - and we also tried some ´flavoured´tequilas which all tasted like sugar and flavouring. Fun though.
Overall it was quite an interesting day and it was really nice to do something will loads of the other volunteers too, although I don´t see me switing to tequila as my drink of choice any time soon.
Tomorrow is the first day in ages we dont have ot get up early so I will be lying in!
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