For Mexicans , maize is not a crop but a deep cultural symbol intrinsic to daily life. Corn was domesticated from a grass called teocintle by the peoples of Meso-America approximately 10,000 years ago. In the words of one Indian woman, “ Corn is so important because it allows us to live at peace.
The Maya , Aztec, and Inca civilizations ate simple food. Corn (maize) was the central food in their diet, along with vegetables such as beans and squash. Avocados and tomatoes were mainly eaten by the Aztecs and Maya , along with a wide variety of fruit.
Maize was the most significant good in Maya beliefs, as its growth symbolized the cycle of life and regeneration. Cacao, on the other hand, was among the most significant goods in Maya practices, with great exchange value and medicinal effects.
Maya astronomer -priests looked to the heavens for guidance. They used observatories, shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to trace the complex motions of the sun, the stars and planets in order to observe, calculate and record this information in their chronicles, or “codices”.
The Maya civilization (/ˈmaɪə/) was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, and noted for its logosyllabic script—the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system.
Corn is the primary U.S. feed grain, accounting for more than 95 percent of total feed grain production and use. More than 90 million acres of land are planted to corn , with the majority of the crop grown in the Heartland region. Most of the crop is used as the main energy ingredient in livestock feed.
The growing of crops is the most important aspect of Mexico’s agriculture, accounting for fifty percent of agricultural output. Main crops include corn , sugarcane, sorghum, wheat, tomatoes, bananas, chili peppers, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, other tropical fruits, beans, barley, avocados, blue agave and coffee.
The most ancient evidence of human corn consumption was found in caves in Puebla, a state in central Mexico . Archeologists estimate the corn discovered there is 7,000 years old.
Meat and fish were typically cooked in stews along with various vegetables and peppers. Fish was either salted and dried or roasted over an open fire. Fruits eaten included guava, papaya, avocado, custard apple, and sweetsop. A frothy chocolate drink and honey were also popular desserts.
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
Dating to 7000 years ago, these cobs are the earliest evidence of wild corn in the New World. Although their principal crop was corn, farmers also cultivated beans, squash, and fruit trees. Black beans and red beans contributed protein to the Maya diet. Numerous varieties of squash and pumpkin were grown.
The Mayans invented chocolate insofar as they were the first civilization to make a beverage from the beans of the cacao tree.
Mayan chocolate was very different than the chocolate we know today. It was a liquid made from crushed cocoa beans, chili peppers, and water. (There was no sugar in Central America.) They poured the liquid from one cup to another until a frothy foam appeared on top.
The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica. Fermented beverages made from chocolate date back to 450 BC. The Mexica believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom, and the seeds once had so much value that they were used as a form of currency.