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This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

November 11, 2011 |  5:43 pm

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This week, Food contributor Nicholas Gilman explores the Mexican drink pulque (fermented agua miel, the fresh sap of the maguey cactus, also used to make tequila and mezcal):

Pulque, popular as a workingman's drink since the time of the Aztecs, slowly lost its appeal as beer, tequila and mezcal took over. Pulquerías became dives, the lowest places to drink into oblivion. Women rarely entered but could buy the drink discreetly from small side windows. Gradually, the number of pulquerías in the Mexico City area dwindled from hundreds to a few dozen.

But in the last 10 years, pulquerías have been making a comeback. Mexico's Facebook generation is embracing and celebrating its culture in ways unknown to its parents, for whom European or American tastes set the standards of chic.

Most pulquerías offer botanas (snacks). Gilman includes recipes for four botanas, including a rich mole-like pork dish, chicken cooked in a pulque sauce, shrimp soup and black beans with nopal cactus.

This week's recipes include:

When you try one of this week's recipes, or any L.A. Times recipes, let us know! Upload a photo onto the "Our Recipes, Your Kitchen" gallery to share your take on the recipe and tell us about yourself. Your photo will be posted online and may be selected to run in print with our weekly section.

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-- Noelle Carter
Twitter/noellecarter

Photo: Chicken in pulque sauce. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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