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Piña literally means “pineapple” in Spanish but in Mexico it is also used to describe the heart of the agave because it so closely resembles a pineapple. The piña has become one of the main motifs in the agave world and suffuses tequila and mezcal culture. It’s one of those key images that triggers all sorts of nostalgic associations about the hand made nature of agave distillates and centrality of agave to Mexican culture. As one example, Fortaleza tequila has a ceramic piña for its bottle top but you’ll see it repeatedly in the marketing and media coverage of agave distillates. Just take a look at three images from our travels below to get a sense for how dramatic and evocative it can be.

Maguey piñas shorn of their leaves and ready to be cut

Maguey piñas shorn of their leaves and ready to be cut.

Cutting the piñas

Cutting the piñas

Field of magueys

Field of just shorn piñas. Note the different sizes of the quiotes.

Read more of our entries in the Mezcalistas Encyclopedia of Mezcal and email us questions or ideas for future entries.

Max co-founded Mezcalistas with Susan way back in 2012. Before that he was a journalist at Salon.com and The San Francisco Chronicle.


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