What is the agave plant used for?


Quick Answer

The agave plant is most often used to make tequila and as a sweetener. The stem and seeds are edible and the leaves of the plant can be used to make textiles. Native Mexicans sometimes use agave spikes as nails or needles.

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Full Answer

The most popular use of the agave plant is to make alcohol. Sap called agua miel is collected from the stem over a period of two months and is then used to make an alcoholic beverage called pulque, a beverage used in Native American religious ceremonies. Mescal is made when pulque is further distilled. Tequila is a form of mescal created from the blue agave plant, which grows in the Tequila region of Mexico.

The sap is collected when the stem is cut before it flowers. If the stem is left to flower, it can be roasted or dried for consumption. The seeds are ground up to make flour.

Agave nectar is a replacement for table sugar that is growing in popularity. It is a highly processed sweetener that is about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar.

There are over 200 known species of agave. It grows in the southern parts of North America, Central America, and the tropical areas of South America. It can also be found in the Mediterranean and in parts of India.

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