For the members of the tsáchila nationality it is known as malá, but those who do not belong to this population call it chicha. It is one of the most famous and well-known drinks of the different cultures of Ecuador; However, for tsáchilas it has decades of tradition and they consider it very special, points out the website lahora.com.ec.
The main raw material for its realization is the juice of the sugarcane, although it is also composed of ground corn and a special and secret ingredient that the tsáchilas get it in the mountains and that gives it a different flavor.
Manuel Aguavil, one of the residents of the commune of El Poste, says that the process for the manufacture of the malt comes from milling, which is a mechanism made from pambil, where the greatest amount of sugar cane juice is extracted.
“The idea is to extract hundreds of liters of juice. Then we go to the mountain, there we must get a plant that is found and born only next to a kind of tree that is gray. After this we wrap it in bijao leaf (banana) to ferment for a few days, “he adds.
Once concentrated this substance, called coló, is stirred with the mass of ground corn and mixed with the juice of sugar cane, cooked and then left to ferment for several days until the drink has the tasty point that characterizes it.
Ideally, for three days the sugar cane juice should be cooked with the corn dough and the special ingredient.
Gloria Calazacón details that the malá is one of the most traditional liquids of the nationality and nowadays the elderly consider it the beverage of cordiality.
“The elders still have the habit of having more than one hundred liters of chicha in their homes. The correct thing is that when you visit a family, it receives you with a container full of this drink. It is a way of saying welcome to my house, “says the portal.
Malá is also provided on occasions and special receptions such as marriages and rituals typical of tsáchilas.
One of the commemorations in which the most traditional malá is consumed is at the Kasama festival, where the new day or new tsáchila year is celebrated.
Ayahuasca and Uru
There are other drinks that also represent a tradition in tsáchilas, such as ayahuasca and urú. The latter has similar characteristics in the preparation of the malá, but with the difference that is made with cassava dough instead of corn; while ayahuasca generates hallucinogenic effects in some people who consume it.
Adult men tsáchilas are responsible for going up the mountain to find the secret ingredient. Young people should extract the juice from sugar cane and women, grate the corn and prepare the dough. (I)