A tool, a word, so much more, and yet such a simple thing. Cogollo means variously “heart,” “middle,” or “shoot” and that’s pretty much exactly what it means in the context of mezcal. It’s the shoot that pops out of the center of the agave which may transform into the quiote. It’s used as a sign that the agave is ready to be harvested and as a tool. Sometimes the harvester will shave off the pencas and then leave the cogollo as a handle so that he can use it to hoist the agave onto a truck or four legged transport and from there into the palenque.