Past Of The Tortilla By Knight Keeper

1012 words - 4 pages

In the beginning, a great empire of the maize dominated of what is Mexico today. Today, these countries enjoy its food after hundreds of years of change from the Aztecs, Spanish, and mechanization of the tortilla.The people that first settle here were the Aztecs. The capital of these people had it in Tenochtitlán. People got around with canoes on rivers leading up to the imperial courts. On the way, one would see white houses with a pop of parks and temples. (Pilcher, p. 14-16)Upon arrival, the market would be bustling with food all over the countryside. The following vegetables were seen to be sold: tomatoes, potatoes, squash, chiles, and catus paddles. In addition there were tropical fruits as zapotes, mameys, chayotes and guavas. But what is the market without the butcher. For he has supplied: rabbits, dogs, gophers, sloths, antelope, possums along with the regular beef and pork. For special occasions armadillos, iguanas and lizards were sold. These reptiles were identified as: "white meat that taste likes chicken" (Pilcher, p. 9)In this empire, corn was the food of the people. The god, Thaloc was in charge of rain and thunder. He was a snake face god that could help or destroy the people's crops. To appease the gods, human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism was apparent. The blood and flesh of warriors were spread across the field for blessings. They may have not known this, but they were actually fertilizing the ground for growing corn.From these people the greatest Mesoamerican invention came the tortilla. This took many hours of labor to create. At the start, corn had to be soaked in a cazuela (pot) with mineral lime overnight to grind into masa on a grinding stone, metate. After, it was masa was kneaded into the sized of golf balls and tossed like pizza dough into a tortilla. Being formed into a circle, it was placed on a comal (griddle). This was a tedious task as the dough would ferment after a day and the tortillas would be brittle. The ingenious aspects of this food item were astonishing. The shape formed into a taco would keep its contents hot for the longest time possible. Also, the tortilla was used as eating utensils. On the plus side, after finishing a meal one would have a taste of corn linger for hours. (Pilcher, p. 10-11)For the imperial courts of Montezuma, 300 dishes were made for him as he would only have the best. In the court, leather cushions for seating and everybody drank money. The great currency of that time would be cacao. In contrast to Europe at this time, the food was simple, tasty and filling with tortillas shaped in canoes and flowers. Instead European have food placed on gold/silver platters or sewing back plumage of birds. (Pilcher, p. 18)This had continued until the Spaniards came on the eastern sea in 1519. There was much gossip about them. The wizards and magicians were sent from Montezuma to rid the conquistadors. Even bribes...

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