Friday, March 4, 2011

Gifts from the Yucatan

Not only have the ancient Mayans contributed to science, mathematics, architecture, astronomy and writing but they have given the world a large array of foods:
Avocados -used as an aphrodisiac, eaten, oils are made, numerous uses including guacamole.
Black Beans - still a favorite food in the Yucatan and throughout Latin America
Chilies - Grown in the Americas for more than 6,000 years, crucial to nearly every fiery cuisine in the world.
Chocolate - "food of the gods", cacao beans were used as currency, possibly the New World's greatest gift to civilization.
Corn - a staple in the Mayan diet causing them to stop being nomads and begin being farmers.
Papaya - the fruit of a large tree, often used for upset tummies.
Tomatoes -Cultivated by the Mayans long before the conquest
Vanilla -Southern Mexico is still the only place the Vanilla Bean orchid grows wild, pollinated by native sting-less bees that produce Mayan honey.

Just imagine - life without vanilla or chocolate.


Donna and Miss Spenser said...

Thanks for sharing this...I loved reading it...NO, I cannot imagine life without any of the above...I love them all!! ESPECIALLY my chocolate!! Sounds like your trip was so much fun and very educational...those are my favorite kinds of trips! I think your job in your next life time should be a traveler planner!! (SMILES)


Marilyn said...

Those are all great things to have been given, but like you said vanilla and chocolate, life would definitely be lacking without them.