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You may have heard me mention mazato. I had to drink some the other day. Mazato is the famous fermented yucca spit juice that many of the jungle peoples of Peru drink. The villagers may be quite offended if you refuse their prized beverage. So I recommend taking at least a small swig.

Yucca, manioc in English, is a root grown and eaten all over Peru. Its texture is somewhat like a big potato. Most people boil it but we prefer it fried. In the jungle villages, the preferred yucca preparation is chewing it up and spitting it into a batán (a wooden canoe-shaped trough). There it sits for a few days and ferments into a powerful mash of manioc madness. When it's good and frothy, just add a little water and then guzzle it down.

Many of the villagers drink it as if it was Red Bull or some kind of energy drink. You don't have to get drunk on this stuff, but sadly, many do. Drunkenness has destroyed many, many lives in the villages along the Huallaga river. I often quote Proverbs 23:29-30, "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has redness of eyes? ...He who drinks [mazato in excess]". (MTT-Micah Tuttle Translation).

Here is a video of a woman preparing the mazato mash. Notice how she chews it and spits quite nicely. Only minimal saliva. It's not so bad. :)

Missions quote of the day by Robert C. Shannon:
"Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the action is — where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge."

Micah for the Tuttles


At March 25, 2015 at 2:58 PM Mollie Bloudoff said...

Good afternoon!

I'm a reporter with National Geographic, and I'm writing a story about mazato. I'd love to give you a call and interview you about your experience. Please send me an email with the best way to connect: news@mbloudoff.com

My article is due late tomorrow afternoon.

Thanks so much,
Mollie Bloudoff


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