The History of Food in Latin America Essay

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The History of Food in Latin America Essay

If one looks at any book shops aggregation of cooking books you will happen volumes about the culinary art of many parts of the universe. but those about South America will be really rare so. though Mexican and Caribbean nutrient may be described. Yet those other culinary art usage nutrients that originate in Southern America such as murphies. cocoa. chilis. tomatoes. and assorted leguminous plants. There are besides grains that have remained more or less local to South America such as quinoa. known to the Incas as ‘the female parent grain’ . Maize originated in Central America. which had one of the most extremely developed of ancient agricultural systems.

The maize rapidly spread both north and south. so much so that it can be considered as an all American nutrient. The type normally grown in South America is granitic maize. harmonizing to Isabel Moore in ‘The Food Book’ page 21. This has meats that are smaller than most assortments and has tougher outer tegument. This has long been used to bring forth chichi or hookah. a beer made from chewed meats. The name comes from Haitian ‘mahiz’ intending ‘stuff of life. The Aztecs used human forfeit in their efforts to pacify the Gods and guarantee good crops. They believed that corn contained the liquors of many Gods. the chief one being Cinteot.

There were ceremonials to idolize him at every phase from the first sowing to the harvest home of the mature ears. Maize deficiencies. The Aztecs. up in southern Mexico used human forfeit in their efforts to pacify the Gods and guarantee good crops. Isabel Moore tells us that maize deficiencies more of the indispensable amino acid lysine than other grains and trusting on it as a basic can ensue in lack diseases such as Alpine scurvy. I t was first adult intentionally about 5. 500 old ages ago. Those early husbandmans would counterbalance for its lack by boiling it with a small ash or calcium hydroxide.

This released the nicotinic acid. I t was so used once more in flour or eaten with fish. beans and other veggies and fruit which so supply the losing amino acids. Surprising the Incas besides invented pop maize. which was utile in that it would maintain. The Aztecs had come down from New Mexico into the country of modern Mexico in the 14th century. They found a state with many lakes. and shortly were doing usage of the nutrients they contained. Alan Davidson tells how added to their diet little insects and algae every bit good as the more obvious fish and H2O poultry.

They besides obtained salt from the lake H2O by boiling it so that the H2O evaporated go forthing behind the crystals. When the Europeans reached Latin America in the16th century they made the first written descriptions we have of Pre-columbian nutrients These early descriptions contain some inaccuracies as they met new civilizations that they did non to the full understand. By the clip the Europeans reached the Americas the Mayan civilisation was already in diminution. but their nutrients were still of import in local civilization. Maize was really of import for such times as birth and decease.

It would be drunk in the signifier of as posole. a gruel. or atole. as a thin porridge and as staff of life in the signifier of tortillas and Tamales. They ate Meleagris gallopavo. but besides iguana. armadillos. tapirs. ducks. partridge. toads and monkeys. In coastal territory fish were of course a characteristic and preserved fish were traded. This is a much wider scope of protein nutrients than are eaten in the chief in modern times. Alan Davidson in ‘The Oxford Companion to Food’ ( page 44 ) Tells us that they kept bees for their honey. The Inca Empire in South America was officially a monolithic one extending over an country the same as the Roman one.

The web site ‘Food of the Incas’ tells how the Empire was a immense nutrient distribution web and how they were able to continue extra crops. More specifically. they used really efficient nutrient distribution and saving techniques. The Incas were sun believers. because the Sun gave them both the visible radiation and heat necessary for the growing of nutrient. For grains they used quinoa. achita. and canahua. all of which were land into flour harmonizing to the Food Time web page. Tortillas would be by every adult female and miss and. although some would be eaten instantly. they could besides be stored and used by travellers.

A kind of corn dumpling made from dough called Xoars were besides common. The dough would be assorted and beans. chilies or meat would be placed at the centre and the whole so wrapped in foliages and steamed. They must hold been slightly like Chinese dim amount. Food such as murphies and meat were preserved by a sort of freezing drying harmonizing to Baudin in ‘Daily Life in Peru’ . pages 84 and 85. They would be left exposed at dark to stop deading temperatures. In the twenty-four hours the Sun would vaporize the H2O. This continued for several yearss. The dried murphy mush that resulted was known as chuno and would maintain for about a twelvemonth.

The dried beef was called charqui. from which we get the modern word ‘jerky’ . Other meat comes from animate beings that aren’t eaten in other parts of the universe. The llama is of class a domesticated animate being used for conveyance. but besides for wool and once it was of no more value as conveyance. was used as meat. The guinea hog was besides eaten every bit good as other little mammals. In earlier clip repasts were taken twice a twenty-four hours. at about 9 and once more in late afternoon. At both repasts a mildly alcoholic drink. chichi. mentioned earlier. was drunk in penchant to H2O. Most repasts would include a soupy fret incorporating whatever was in season.

Coca foliages would be chewed after repasts. This has become in modern times Cocaine. but was used to battle the utmost conditions. The Manilkara zapota tree provided bites in the signifier of masticating gum. Much of the empire’s land was cragged. but would be terraced so provide level surfaces for the agriculturists. Chocolate comes from the fruit cods of the chocolate tree tree from Central and South America. Drinks made from cacao beans were portion of cardinal American civilization and were discovered by Spanish adventurers. The name comes from two Aztec words – ‘chocal’ significance hot or acrimonious plus ‘atl’ significance H2O.

The Mayans besides knew about cocoa though it is diffident whether or non they used it ceremoniously or as an mundane drink. Cacoa beans were besides used as currency by the Mayans. The emperor Montezuma was said to hold a million or more bean wickedness storage harmonizing to Isabel Moore. page 336. The original Mayan drink would besides incorporate chili. Chilis are something we now associate with the nutrient of many different civilizations. Tex Mex and Thai for case. The word comes from Nahuati. the Aztec linguistic communication. for the pepper. Peppers are portion of the same household as other nutrients we associate with that portion of the universe – the murphy and tomato.

They vary from the Sweet to those incorporating so much capsaicin. an alkaloid that they will bring forth firing esthesiss and even numbness in the oral cavity. They were brought back to Europe by adventurers such as Columbus and from there rapidly travelled around the universe. Another nutrient that travelled rapidly were beans of many related types. Haricot is an effort at the Aztec word Ayacotl. Prior to this merely the wide bean was in regular usage in Europe. China had green gram and soya beans. but all others come from the Americas where they have been a basic for some 7. 000 old ages harmonizing to Isabel Moore.

( Page 138 ) We now associate java with Latin America. but this originated in the Horn of Africa and was taken to the Americas by Europeans who realized its possible as a harvest. Brazil is now the largest manufacturer in the universe. So we can see that traffic in new nutrients is bilateral. Squash. alligator pear and Cucurbita pepos have long been cultivated alongside chilis and tomatoes and this is reflected in the kitchen where they are cooked alongside each other. The squash seeds were besides eaten as bites. Although the sweet murphy is non related to the ordinary murphy it comes from a similar country.

It originated in the Highlandss of Peru. where it has been grown for two millenary. It spread from at that place to Central America and the Caribbean. from where crewmans. long before the European invasion. took it east to Polynesia and even every bit far as New Zealand. It arrived in Europe with returning Spaniards before the more ordinary type as promoted by Sir Walter Raleigh. In Elizabethan England it was used as aphrodisiac. and became really stylish in Europe after the Empress Josephine. who was born in the Caribbean. had it planted in her Gallic gardens.

Herbs such as guarana. yerba mate. and hibiscus were widely used. but more for mending than as flavorer. The indigens of Peru have long used the maca root as a of course happening Viagra type addendum. Inca warriors would eat it before traveling into conflict. but it was forbidden after they had conquered a metropolis in order to protect its female dwellers. In more modern times the nutrient of the country has been much influenced by that of other peoples – Americans to the North. the Portuguese in Brazil of class and the Spanish. throughout the balance of the country.

Modern nutrient is a blend of autochthonal nutrients such as beans with those from elsewhere in the universe such as eggplants. now grown widely in Central America. Travel is easier in modern times. One can easy eat a repast in a foreign state and so purchase the ingredients one time place to reproduce it in one’s ain kitchen. It is about guaranteed nevertheless that whether cooking an Italian pizza. an Indian curry or an Irish Stew you will utilize ingredients that originate in Latin America.

Mentions Books Baudin. L. Daily Life in Peru. Macmillan. New York. 1962 Davidson. The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. 1999 Moore. I. The Food Book. BBC. London 2002 Electronic Sources Aztec Religion. Corn hypertext transfer protocol: //www. microscopy. fsu. edu/religion/pages/aztec. hypertext markup language retrieved 11th December 2007 Food of the Incas hypertext transfer protocol: //library. thinkquest. org/C005446/Food/English/inca. hypertext markup language retrieved 10th December 2007 Food Timeline hypertext transfer protocol: //www. foodtimeline. org/foodmaya. html # Mayan retrieved 11th December 2007