Chicha is traditionally made by wetting maize with the maker’s saliva in order to kick off the fermentation process. Matador’s own Sarah Menkedick has this to say about the corn based, low alcohol content drink found in various forms throughout Central and South America:
Chicha is intense–I drank some in Bolivia. Let me just say that it takes some psychological preparation to take down a fermented corn beverage that has been chewed up and spit out. I think that’s why I can pretty much eat anything now–that broke down the last critical barrier of fear/resistance I might’ve had.