Flat Earth: Tequila slammed

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The Independent Online
Forget vodka from Warrington: how about tequila from South Africa? Since the end of apartheid, when it became OK for us to buy South African produce, their agriculturalists have been venturing into new areas. There was the niftily-named Boutros Boutros garlic, and I have already seen a bottle of chilli sauce with a cod-Mexican blurb which says something like: "So, Greengo, you theenk you are tough? Well, try this!"

The Mexicans are even less amused at the latest enterprise, a 15m rand (pounds 2m) factory which will process the cactus from which tequila is made. The Mexican trade representative in South Africa says it would be illegal under World Trade Organisation rules to call the stuff tequila, but the South Africans retort that tests show their product to be superior to various Mexcian brands they tried, with higher sugar and alcohol contents and lower acidity.

Instead of whingeing to the WTO, though, why don't the Mexicans retaliate in kind? Perhaps they could reproduce the South African firewater, mampoer, made from the fruit of the maroela tree, which even makes elephants drunk when they eat it. Or they could emulate biltong, which South Africans make by cutting their native animals into strips, hanging the meat to dry in the sun and waiting until it is bone-hard. Who knows? There might be a market for coyote biltong.

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