The Word 'Agave' on Trial in Mexico

The Word 'Agave' on Trial in Mexico

It's only a matter of time before tequila and mezcal producers find out who can use the word "agave," a type of plant grown in Mexico and long associated with quality.

Pending legislation would prevent certain distillers from labeling products as "100 percent agave" outside regions reserved for tequila or mezcal. The New York Times reports that liquors not falling under the new legislation would be forced to call their products "agavacea aguardiente" or "distilled agavacea," which falls under a more general plant family.

Not everyone is happy with the news, including David Suro-Piñera, founder of Siembra Azul Tequila and Tequilas Restaurant in Philadelphia. "I don’t think that term belongs to any one spirit. We are very rich of variety in Mexico. We have dozens of spirits made with agave," Suro-Piñera said.

American mixologists have "denounced the legislation" and think the move is another classic example of a big company trying to hurt the little guy. Now, we await the verdict.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.