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Beer the Peruvian way.

The peoples of all of the continents and cultures of the world have (all) mastered the art of producing alcoholic beverages (that is apart from the Maoris). The popularity of various types of beers, wines and other beverages is not only decided by its power to dullen senses and make everyday life more bearable, but also due to the fact that the water reserves near such densely populated area were often undrinkable. Settlements of people, especially those where that have remained in the same place for years and generations, often decades and centuries, usually pollute the water to such a degree that the people need to resort to drinks which are not likely to cause illness. Fermented drinks are an example of this. In essence, all edible plants have been subjected to the fermenting process, and according to their properties, various beverages have been concocted. 

The original settlers of America used mainly corn for this purpose. Unfortunately, corn itself is not immediately suitable for yeast fermentation, and therefore another solution had to be developed. Corn kernels were chewed, the chewed mass was spat out into an appropriate container , put aside for some time to 'work', drained off and the drink was ready. 

The European settlers of American were not very enthusiastic about this particular drink. The attached illustration from the XVI century shows this quite clearly. This procedure survives to this day and in the American jungle it is common to come across such a treat . Unfortunately the preparation of the corn for fermentation is a boring and time consuming process. In Peru and Brazil there are professional "chewers" - they were hired for this job and well paid, but as a consequence they wore down their teeth to the gums. 

[QZC04::004];[QNK05::056]

 


'przeżuwacze' przy robocie
[Andre Thevet, La Cosmographie Universelle, Vol. 2, Paris, 1575]

 


 

(C) (selected from publications of 
 R. Antoszewski

Titirangi, Auckland, 
New Zeland

Jan.  2003
v.16

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