Much more than just a grain
It is hard to imagine our favorite foods without their main ingredients: Pizza with no tomato sauce, ice-cream with no chocolate or vanilla, Thanksgiving without turkey. These foods like tomato, chocolate, vanilla and turkey, in addition to corn, potato, tomato, avocado, peanut, pumpkin, chili peppers, beans, turkey, pineapple, chia, and many more were carefully domesticated by the oldest civilizations of the Americas.
Why is amaranth less known if it was so important?
Amaranth has been cultivated for at least 9,000 years in the central region of Mexico. Although there is no solid documentation, some historical accounts indicate that it was banned by Europeans when they arrived to the ancient Mexican lands. Although, many other factors could also have lead to its near extinction.
According to the most recent data, human groups have inhabited the central region of Mexico for at least 30,000 years. The oldest human footprints in the entire American continent have been found in caves in Mexico.
Over time, ancient cultures in Mexico developed an impressive knowledge of nature and food. They applied their wisdom and accumulated experience in the improvement of the amaranth grain.
The main goal in growing this important grain was to contribute to human well-being, keeping a balance with nature at the same time.
How was it consumed?
Amaranth was traditionally consumed in soups, salads, tamales, tortillas, tacos, atoles, etc. In addition, on important dates it was mixed with other ingredients to shape figures that represent complex concepts of nature, understood by Europeans as gods.