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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Diet of the Aztecs

Maize was the staple food of the poor Aztecs so much so it was inter-linked with their religion in which they worshiped Cinteotl, a maize god and Chicomecoatl, a maize goddess. They made popcorn by roasting dried maize kernels of a particular variety, which they not only ate but also used for ornaments on statues of their gods.

Tortilla pancakes made with maize were eaten with every meal. The kernels were boiled to remove the husks, crushed to form a paste then cooked on a pottery plate over an open fire. Then they were filled with beans or spicy turkey or dog meat and eaten with a hot sauce made from chilli peppers and tomatoes.Chilli was available in many guises.

Aztec men sharing a meal as depicted in the Florentine Codex.

Also included in their diet were avocados, onions, peanuts, papaya, pineapple, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. They used avocados, onions and chopped tomatoes to make a sauce called “ahuaca-mulli”, a sort of guacamole.

Source Food For Thought: Extraordinary Little Chronicles of the World by Ed Pearce

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