“Every different kind of maize makes a different atole,” Amado Ramírez Leyva says. The possibilities are endless. Attempts to quantify the different species of maize in Mexico, or even just in the state of Oaxaca, are futile. The nomenclature is further complicated by the plant’s tendency to cross-breed over great distances, the near-infinite genetic possibilities inside its seeds, first domesticated by indigenous people in the Central Balsas River Valley around ten thousand years ago.
Despite its place as the hippest new spirit on the block, mezcal is suffering. In the spirit’s heartland of Mexico, makers of the distinctively spiced distilled beverage are struggling to find a balance between traditional production methods and a growing global demand.
“Mezcal has been produced here in Oaxaca for at least four hundred years,” Silvia Philion tells me from behind the bar at Mezcaloteca, one of the city’s most prominent mezcalerias. Read More
In Canada today, nearly three quarters of a million people experience dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the prevailing cause. Read More
The winter holiday season is a time most of us look forward to, not just for the endless feasts and piles of sweet treats, but for the time we get to spend with our closest friends and family. Read More
Winter is coming… and with it, vacation season. You have your time booked off from work to escape the frigid cold. Read More
This holiday season is supposed to be one where witches get to come out to play. But around the world, many real witches are still hiding in the broom closet. In Canada, the number of people who openly identify with a pagan faith has been steadily on the rise. Read More
While book banning is no longer a common practice, and the flaming books piles are things of the past, libraries across North America are still getting requests to have material pulled from their shelves. And some of them are pretty surprising requests, too. Read More
Celebrities like Angelina Jolie have been bringing attention to the importance of genetic testing in determining breast cancer risks for years now, particularly since she announced her positive result and double mastectomy in 2013. Read More