The Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations ate simple food. Corn (maize) was the central food in their diet, along with vegetables such as beans and squash. Potatoes and a tiny grain called quinoa were commonly grown by the Incas.
Their main crop was maize, but they also grew root vegetables, avocados, squash and beans. Maize made up 80% of their diet. They made tortillas, beer and a type of porridge with the maize. The Maya also grew cocoa and chillies.
The most important food that the Maya ate was maize, which is a vegetable like corn. They made all types of food from maize including tortillas, porridge, and even drinks. Other staple crops included beans, squash, and chilies. For meat the Maya ate fish, deer, ducks, and turkey.
Maya Crops & Food Maize (milpa) was one of the most important crops but so too were root crops such as sweet manioc, beans, squash, amaranth, and chile peppers. Meat and fish were typically cooked in stews along with various vegetables and peppers.
Poc chuc was a meat dish that the Mayans ate often. According to National Geographic, poc chuc is a Yucatecan dish that was around before refrigerators were even a thing, so meat was preserved with salt instead. Poc chuc was basically a slow-cooked pork made with sour orange juice and vinegar for a lot of added flavor.
The Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations ate simple food. Corn (maize) was the central food in their diet, along with vegetables such as beans and squash. Corn cakes were eaten in both regions, but only the Mesoamerican peoples ate corn pancakes, known as tortillas, with every meal.
For the Maya, cacao was a sacred gift of the gods, and cacao beans were used as currency. When the Spanish invaded Maya lands in the 1500s, they adopted the beverage, adding sugar and milk to make it sweet and creamy.
Simple yet delicious handmade corn tortillas, which are made with ground corn masa and cooked on a wood-fired oven or a traditional comal, have been a diet staple for centuries for the indigenous Maya. Corn tortillas make a hearty addition to meals ranging from roasted meats and vegetables to basic rice and beans.
One of the few foods that we today would consider sweet was chocolate. It is likely that the Mayans ate chocolate-based foods as dessert.
“This cooking method involves digging a shallow pit, lining it with stones or clay balls, building a fire on top and waiting until it is reduced to embers,” Simms said. The process continued by placing whole roots, squash fruits or packets of food wrapped in maize on the hot stones.
The Mayans invented chocolate insofar as they were the first civilization to make a beverage from the beans of the cacao tree.
The Maya created arable land by using a “slash-and-burn” technique to clear the forests. They planted maize and secondary crops such as beans, squash, and tobacco. In the highlands to the west, they terraced the slopes on mountainsides; in the lowlands, they cleared the jungle for planting.
What did the Maya eat? Maize was a staple part of the Mayan diet, along with beans, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, avocados, chillies, papaya, pineapple, limes and many other fruits and vegetables. They also ate fresh meat from the animals they kept or hunted, like fish or turkey.
Another essential element in the diet of the Mayan people and the main source of protein were beans, which in the native language are called “bu’ul”. They were mashed and spread onto tortillas to make tacos. This basic diet has remained the same of centuries!
And dancers called Mazateca each swallowed the live snakes and frogs. They seized the frogs with their mouths, not their hands, and they just chewed them up as they took them from the basin of water there before Tlaloc.
Animals hunted for meat as well as for other purposes include deer, manatee, armadillo, tapir, peccary, monkey, guinea pig and other types of fowl, turtle and iguana, with the majority of meat coming from white-tailed deer, as is evident from animal remains found in middens.