Mayan Cuisine

May 30, 2014 by

Mayan Cuisine

Written by Samuel Phineas Upham

Though they considered maize to be their staple food, Mayan cuisine is rich and varied. It contains foods with a long history, but most of our written evidence comes from a civilization that was already experiencing a period of decline. Evidence of maize can be found all over sites traditionally associated with birth and death, suggesting the Mayans held celebrations in honor of their new additions and recently departed.

The Mayans found many ways of consuming maize. They used it in a soup called posole, and it found its way into Mayan-style porridge. It was also used in tortillas and tamales, traditional breadstuffs of the ancient culture.

The culture also partook in flesh foods, turkey being the most popular of those dishes. Mayans ate both domesticated and wild turkeys, and there is also evidence that they feasted on iguana meat as well. Bones recovered from various digs show signs of charring, indicating they were most likely cooked on a barbacoa. There is also evidence that the tapir monkey was caught and eaten, along with manatees and armadillos as well. Honey was also an important part of life for Mesoamerican settlers, and bee keeping would have been prominent during that time.

Honey was used to sweeten drinks made from Maize, but they were also quite familiar with cacao. Chocolate is largely thought to be an Aztec tradition, but the Maya people used the beans for currency and as part of a chocolate drink similar to the Aztec tradition.

Samuel Phineas Upham

Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Samuel Phineas Upham website.

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