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Fables & Legends

Photo of Puerto Vallarta's old Malecón.

Maybe other cities in Mexico have Fables & Legends. but we have our share.

Darwin in Mexico.

One of my friends has come up with proof of Darwin’s Evolution Theory and Survival of the Fittest.

The dog in Mexico.

Big Mexican Dog Short Mexican Dog

First introduced to this country by Cortez in 1519, the European dogs have slowly evolved from what is seen in Fig. 1, to what we see today in Fig. 2.

This is a prime example of survival of the fittest as the animal in Fig. 2 is able to take refuge under the Taco Stand and not end up in the tacos.

Just kidding!


Contrary to Fables & Legends no ‘root’ (Spanish Raiz or Raic) is used in Raicilla.

From: – now defunct

Travellers along the western seaboard of Mexico in the vicinity of Puerto Vallarta occasionally happen onto roadside vendors of a moonshine mezcal called Raicilla (rye-see-ya). The name Raicilla was originally used to disguise this type of mezcal in order to escape restrictions on alcohol production and the related taxes. In other words ‘moonshine’,

My experience has always been that the sale of Raicilla was somewhat clandestine; sales being made on side streets or in small palapas clinging to the mountainsides at the edge of town.
Packaging was usually a screwtop Coke bottle or some other recyclable container and the quality of the beverage verged on the raw side. Behind the harsh flavour, there was always an interesting aftertaste that brought me back and fueled my search for a smoother more civilised Raicilla.

For the past ten years I have crisscrossed Mexico looking for new tequilas and mezcals and adding to my research notes, always searching and sampling. Recently, I discovered a legitimate producer of Raicilla, one who has combined the best of historic techniques with the advantages of modern technology.

This is the “Destiladora del Real” located in the mountains above Puerto Vallarta. In the past, this area was famous for it’s mining, and the well-paid miners expected their liquor to be of the best quality.
The towns producing Raicilla are San Sebastian del Oeste, Hostotipaquillo, Talpa, Mascota, Atenguillo, Guachinango, and Etzatlan. A combination of reddish brown soils, sun, and rain in this part of western Jalisco created the perfect environment for the growth of the Agave Lechuguilla which is the sugar source for Raicilla.
This agave is a member of the botanical Group Crenatae and is identified as Agave Inaequidens or Agave Maximiliana, commonly known as “Pata de Mula” (Mules Foot). Agave Lechugilla is somewhat smaller than the agaves that pulque and tequila are made from.

As the agave matures it begins to put up a flowering stalk (quiote); this is cut off so that all of the plants sugars are directed to the heart. About the 8th to 10th year the plant matures and is harvested by “Jimadores” who cut away the spiny outer leaves with long handled knives (coas).
The heart of the plant that remains looks like a pineapple and in fact is called a “piña“. These piñas, weighing about one hundred pounds, are taken from the fields to the “taberna” where Raicilla processing takes place.

To appreciate the efforts that go into a “boutique” Raicilla, consider that it takes 15 pounds of agave to produce 1 liter of Raicilla and that only 50 liters of distillate are made every 24 hours.
Traditionally, the first few drops of distillate that emerge are tossed in the air, if it evaporates before landing, the brew is good, but that may be another Fables & Legends ?
Raicilla can be consumed straight in a “Caballito” (tequila shot glass), but is more commonly served chilled in a wineglass, over the rocks, or with Squirt or some type of grapefruit soda.
A popular saying of the Mexican people is: “Para Todo Mal, Mezcal y Para Todo Bien Tambien” (For everything bad, Mezcal and for everything good too)
More info on Mezcal HERE

Puerto Vallarta Raicilla Clay Oven. Raicilla in Puerto Vallarta Raicilla-still near Puerto Vallarta.

More Fables & Legends
“So that’s what they think?.”

“The pastor of the church asked me how I liked Ixtapa. I told him that it is a very beautiful place, no doubt, but that I didn’t especially care for it as it was not real life to me , rather a fantasy land, and that I preferred Zihuatanejo and the surrounding colonias.
He seemed puzzled by the fantasy reference so I explained that many of us Americans save for a year or two or longer to be able to go to a place like Ixtapa or Acapulco or Cancun and blow the whole wad in 2 weeks. Then we return to our ordinary, bill paying life.
He, and others, assumed that Americans ALWAYS live and spend as observed on vacation, and this promotes the desire of some Mexicans to migrate to the US.”

Posted by Alex in TJ on Mexico Connect Forum.


If you have the good fortune of knowing that you are going to be eating mole, don’t wear white! Trust Fanny. Even if you never spill on that white Oaxacan wedding shirt, mole has an independent will. It will jump off your fork and fling itself onto your white clothes all on its own!

Posted by Fanny on Mexico Connect Forum.

How I ‘FIRED’ my Boss, another Raicilla story

I have been asking Gil (husband of Lucy, owner of Lucy’s CuCu Cabaña, see Shopping) to write a couple of paragraphs for this page. At last he did, all 5 pages of a story, click the link a. So he gets a whole page for his very funny story from the early days here. GoTo- “How I fired my Boss
This story is included in “Puerto Vallarta on 49 Brain Cells a Day” by Gil Givens, with many other funny stories.
Available at Lucy’s CuCu Cabaña & Zoo, Basilio Badillo # 295 and The Net House, I. Vallarta # 232.
Also available online at AMAZON.