Do you know popcorn has been eaten in Mexico for hundreds of years?

“Momochtli,” the Nahuatl phrase for popcorn (known as “palomitas de maíz” in Spanish), has been consumed in Mexico for hundreds of years. Archaeologists estimate that popcorn could have been consumed in Mesoamerica greater than 6,000 years in the past. Corn cultivation within the area dates to the start of agriculture – 9,000 years in the past.

Fifty-nine completely different strains of corn are native to Mexico, however solely seven are used to make popcorn: Chapalote, Palomero Tolugueno, Nal Tel, Exploder, Palomero from Chihuahua,  Palomero from Jalisco and Puebla Palomero, a sub-breed from the Central Transvolcanic Knot.

The Spanish encounter popcorn being made by the Aztec

The Spanish first encountered popcorn once they invaded Mexico.Spanish chronicler Friar Bernardino de Sahagún first detailed the invention in “Normal Historical past of Issues in Mexico”. The Aztecs would throw the corn kernels instantly into the hearth or on a scorching griddle (“comal”) till they popped, bursting into the form of a flower.

In accordance with Sahagún, popcorn was additionally utilized in spiritual celebrations and festivals, with garlands of popcorn used as ornamentation for altars and statues. He witnessed ladies sporting wreaths of toasted corn on their heads as a substitute of flowers as they danced the “popcorn dance” at a competition in honor of Tezcatlipoca, God of the evening.  He additionally described the festivals of Opochtli, a deity of fishermen, the place the Mexica used popcorn of their ceremonies, writing that it was “a sort of corn that when roasted bursts and divulges the kernel and turns into a really white flower, they [the Mexica] stated that these have been hailstones, that are attributed to the water gods.”  In some areas, popcorn was stated to characterize stars.

The Maya fantasy of Dziú

In accordance with Maya fantasy, Dziú – a fowl with multi-colored feathers with chestnut brown eyes – was only a regular fowl when Yuum Chaac, the god of water and agriculture observed {that a} drought was inflicting the land to lose its fertility.  Alarmed, he known as all of the birds collectively proclaiming an emergency.  He must burn the crops in order that the ash would fertilize the soil. The god of fireplace, Kak would begin the blaze, however they would wish to gather all of the sorts of seeds to replant the crops. Dziú arrived early and diligently collected extra seeds than every other fowl, lastly resting within the shade, with Yuum Chaac’s permission.

The subsequent morning Yuum Chaac realized the hearth was endangering the place the employees had readied for sowing new crops. Yuum Chaac despatched out one other emergency name to the birds for assist. When Dziú arrived, he noticed the scenario from a tree department – watching with amazement because the corn kernels popped into white flowers – and threw himself into the hearth to save lots of as many corn kernels as he might.  When he completed, exhausted, his eyes had turned pink and his feathers have been burned.

To honor this act of bravery, the opposite birds promised all the time to guard the descendants of the Dziú.  Yuum Chaac honored Dziú by decreeing that the eyes of his descendants would all the time have pink eyes and wingtips the colour of ash to remind the opposite birds of their promise.

At this time, his descendants are the birds now often known as the red-eyed thrush.

The Nice Melancholy popularized popcorn in america

Popcorn turned endlessly linked with film theaters in america through the Nice Melancholy (1923 – 1933) as an inexpensive snack to munch on whereas watching silent cinema, which gave them short-term respite from their sorrows. Baggage of popcorn have been bought from popcorn carts outdoors the door at first however when theater house owners realized how a lot cash the distributors have been incomes, they put in their very own popcorn machines contained in the theater. The addition of butter and salt made it a extremely popular and enduring snack for moviegoers.

For individuals who forego salt and butter, lime, chili, cheese, and caramel might be added. Popcorn will also be ready utilizing olive and avocado oils for added taste and diet.

Popcorn is a really dietary deal with

In accordance with the Cleveland Clinic, pure popcorn (with no salt or butter) could be very wholesome.  It incorporates a excessive degree of antioxidants – even greater than some vegetables and fruit – and contributes to higher circulation and discount of sure illnesses like most cancers. 

Popcorn is loaded with fiber, which is important to the correct functioning of the digestive system and may scale back the potential for contracting coronary heart illness or diabetes. Moreover, popcorn is wealthy in nutritional vitamins and minerals resembling B-complex, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, and Copper.

Caramel corn can also have originated in Mexico. (Unsplash)

Caramel corn can also be stated to come back from Mexico

Caramel corn can also have originated in Mexico. Centuries in the past, some Mexican communities roasted popcorn kernels on a comal after which sweetened it with maguey honey, making a candy deal with.  

In Chiapas, “puxinú” continues to be ready from popcorn blended with native piloncillo honey which is then formed into squares. This beloved snack can nonetheless be present in markets, candy stands, or being bought out of baskets by distributors strolling via neighborhoods, particularly through the competition of San Sebastian on January 20. Puxinú is hottest in Chiapas – particularly in Tuxtla Gutierrez and Chiapa de Corzo.

Essentially the most lovely ear of corn is the Gema de Cristal grown in Tehuacán and has kernels that shine like valuable gems.

Sheryl Losser is a former public relations govt, researcher, author, and editor. She has been writing professionally for 35 years.  She moved to Mazatlán in 2021 and works part-time doing freelance analysis and writing. She might be reached at

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