Mayan Food: The crops grown by the agricultural society of the ancient Mayans were maize, bean, pumpkin, manioc and sweet potato. Maize was considerer of great value and the god of this important element was even venerated. The Mayans created warm beverages from maize which they called “Atole” and drank for breakfast.
They also used it to prepare the dough for tortillas and tamales, which they filled with some ingredients that came from fishing or hunting. Among the most plentiful animals were wild turkey, duck, pheasant and deer, whose illegal hunting has been forbidden in Mexico. Thanks to the fact that the Mayans inhabited an extensive area that included diverse climates, tropical fruits like guanabana, mango, mamey, watermelon, pineapple, papaya and guava were plentiful and were used to prepare preserved and make honeyed liqueurs. By law, only the nobility has the luxury of drinking the “beverage of the gods” which was prepared with chocolate derived from the seed of the cacao tree. However, with the arrival of the Spaniards, this beverage lost its divine hierarchy and its consumption became more generalized. Different Central American and southern North American countries still enjoy the cuisine of the Mayan world, among with are Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and also southern Mexico. However, it is the Yucatan Peninsula that has the greatest variety of Mayan dishes.
One of the most representative is Cochinita Piblil. It is made from pork which was imported from Cuba by the Spaniard, and is marinated in sour orange and seasoned with Achiote, which has a flavor similar to praprika. Tabasco is the only place in the world where you can taste “Pejelagarto” (a fish with a crocodile head) seasoned with amashito chili and lime. Gastronomy, like so many other lessons from this wise culture, has transcended time and space.
Throughout the world today you can taste different types of ceviche, either traditional or with exotic touches from other cultures, innovate fusions based upon the ancient recipes of magical worlds from Mayan times.