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Mescal - A plant of the agave family, the fleshy bases of whose leaves and trunk were used as food by the Indians of the Southwest.  a pit was made and lined with stones.  A fire was built over the stones and when they became hot, the coals were raked out and the mescal placed in the pit and covered with grass.  After two days' steaming the food was ready to eat.  When the crops of the whites failed at El paso, Texas, more than a century ago, the entire population lived for six months on mescal.  Mexicans make a fermented drink from the plant.  The Mescalero, a tribe of Apache, got their name from the custom of eating mescal.

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