!Salud! (To Health!)

Vickie swears by the power of mezcal to clear up skin, stomach problems, gripa (flu with high fever), and any other ill you have. She even explained that she has used it with her two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter. She told the story of a seventy-year-old who had no cholesterol because she takes a small swig of mezcal before every meal (and after). One of the students brought in crema de mezcal ( a ceamy, super sweet version of the drink) to enjoy with the chilaquiles this afternoon, and tshe and her friend taught us a new toast. Typically, we just say, “!Salud!” (To health!) Here goes: “!Arriba. Abajo. Al centro. Dentro!” (Up high, down low, to the center, inside you.)

Another way of “toasting” is for the person presenting a plate of food to say, “Provecho” or “Buen provecho.” It is the equivalent of the French: “bon appétit.”

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