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Maize Processing in New World

Maize Processing in New World - Maize Processing in New...

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Maize Processing in New World Yams are part of a swidden-based system focused on root crops However, the major agricultural civilizations are based on cereal grains, domesticated in 4 different regions: 1) wheat = Middle East; 2) rice = Asia; 3) maize = MesoAmerica; 4) millet = W. Africa Maize (a.k.a. "corn") = least nutritionally balanced of cereal staples, yet came to be staple of many New World societies, including empires of Mayans, Aztecs, and others Maize is deficient in 2 essential amino acids (lysine and tryptophan), as well as in niacin (a B vitamin); shortage of amino acids could cause protein deficiency, while niacin deficiency causes pellagra One way of reducing this problem = "complementary cuisine" -- i.e., combining maize with beans in most meals (e.g., tortillas con frijoles ) Another way involves various traditional methods of maize preparation via alkali processing (using limestone, wood ash...) Native explanations for processing vary: softens kernels (making them easier to grind), improves taste (post-grinding processing), etc.
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