Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Gods in Mexican Food

The art of cooking is fascinating because it was able to transform a routinary and vital activity like eating, into an essential component of every culture and every society.

In each country, there are different eating rituals, and diverse ways of preparing food. Even though many times we use the same ingredients, the experience and the taste of the food is not the same.

Dating back to the Aztec Empire, Mexicans gave special importance to their food. They even venerated Chicomecoatl, the corn Goddess, to ensure that they would never do without this ingredient, since it was their main source of vitamins.

Originally, Aztecs used native ingredients to prepare their foods like cacao, peanuts, vanilla, a variety of grains, chili, beans, avocado, coconut, potato, different flowers, shrimp, turtle, crab, and other types of fish.

Around 1519, the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés, revolutionized Mexican Cuisine, by introducing pork, lamb, citric fruits, garlic, cheese, milk and vinegar from Europe.

Since that moment on, Mexicans have incorporated these new elements to their traditional dishes, acquiring greater variety of dishes, maintaining the essence of the Aztec influence and conserving the characteristic flavor of Mexican food.

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