I always recommend getting to know the mezcal of a region through its main variety before extending into blends and other varieties. Keeping the variety consistent allows other differences to shine, like microclimates and production methods, ultimately providing a more educational tasting. In Michoacan the main species is Cupreata, a particularly beautiful agave, and happily there are now plenty of options available internationally. This DIY tasting is designed to highlight the versatility and dynamic profile of Cupreata from Michoacan alongside food pairings that are typical to the same region. It’s the next best thing to traveling there, and you might just discover your palate’s preferences when it comes to subregions or still materials along the way.
If you can’t get these exact mezcals, don’t worry. There are other options available, just try to choose something that has information that you can use to compare and contrast- like subregion, still type, and any other production notes.
- La Luna Cupreata: Made in Indaparapeo using above ground wooden fermentation tanks, and wooden stills with copper elements.
- Don Mateo Cupreata: Made in Pino Bonito using in ground concrete fermentation tanks and wooden still with copper elements.
- Derrumbes Michoacán: Made in Tzitzio using wooden fermentation tanks and pulque as a starter, wooden still with copper elements. This mezcal blends Cupreata with Alto (Inaequidens), offering a taste of how Cupreata performs in an ensemble.
Will these pairings taste the same as if you were in Michoacan? No, but they will still be good with mezcal. Opt for local ingredients whenever possible, and/or check your local Mexican store or restaurants for more authentic preparations of the meats.
- Cheese: Cotija would be ideal, but a good parmesan or quesillo would work well
- Carne Seca: good quality beef jerky is a fine stand in here
- Fresh Fruit: do not buy berries from Mexico, go for something local and in season
- Carnitas: the carnitas from Michoacan are what dreams are made of, but any roast pork will do in a pinch.