In order for us to really start to understand Mexican food and culture, we need to dive into the history of these peoples. What better way to start than with tackling the infamous, Tortilla? Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this staple. It is more than just a mere vessel for delectable toppings and fillings. These traditionally, corn derived, delicacies possess much more power in divulging the essence of Mexican culture then one would expect.
Corn or Maize, as it was referred to by the Mayans, was recognized as a sacred almost God like force in society. In fact, It was stated in the Popol Vuh, (the Mayan story of creation) that maize is an integral part of creation and even human existence. The Mexican indigenous people had their own “maize narratives” known as the Centeotzintli.
The Centeozintli stresses the idea “Somos gente de maiz sagrado” (we are the people of sacred maize). This means they believe that one’s identity is based upon their relationship with maize. Mexican citizens still attempt to uphold this borderline sacramental obligation to respect the crop, which is why it is still so important to the culture today.