Navigation Links
Spicy Cuisine Originated in Mexico 1,500 Years Ago

The spicy Mexican cuisine, which is one of the world's tastiest and most popular, may be nearly 1,500 years old, say scientists at the Smithsonian Institution .

Linda Perry of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History says that as early as 1,500 years ago, Pre-Columbian inhabitants of southern Mexico enjoyed a spicy fare similar to Mexican cuisine today.

The new finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is based on an analysis of plant remains from two caves in the region, which yielded 10 different cultivars of chilli pepper.

"This analysis demonstrates that chillies in Mexican food have been numerous and complex for a long period of time. It reveals a great antiquity for the Mexican cuisine that we're familiar with today," said Perry, the lead author of the study.

In the course of study, desiccated plant remains from excavations in Guila Naquitz and Silvia's Cave, two dry rock shelters near Mitla in the Valley of Oaxaca, were studied.

Guila Naquitz is famous for its well-preserved plant remains, dating back to the beginnings of squash cultivation in Mexico some 10,000 years ago. Arid conditions through the centuries prevented decay of the crop remains, which include corn, squash, beans, avocados and chilli peppers.

The study was focused on the two upper layers of ash and debris, known as Zone "A" and "Super-A," spanning the period circa A.D. 500-1500. Perry distinguished different cultivars among the abundantly preserved chilli peppers, a type of analysis that had not been completed on ancient Mexican chilies.

The researcher found that peppers from Guila Naquitz included at least seven different cultivars, while peppers from the smaller sample in Silvia's cave represented three cultivars.

Perry, however, is yet to confirm whether the cultivars found in the caves correspond to modern varieties, or whether they were types that died out after the arrival of Europeans in Mexico.

While one of them looks like a Tabasco pepper and another like a cayenne pepper, it is difficult to know how closely related they are to modern varieties without a genetic analysis, says the researcher.

"What was interesting to me was that we were able to determine that they were using the peppers both dried and fresh," Perry said.

"It shows us that ancient Mexican food was very much like today. They would have used fresh peppers in salsas or in immediate preparation, and they would have used the dried peppers to toss into stews or to grind up into sauces like moles," Perry added.

The researchers say that during the period circa A.D. 500-1500, the caves served as temporary camps and storage areas for farmers from Mitla, a major town on the river of the same name, whose cultivated fields evidently extended to the slopes of the piedmont below Guila Naquitz and Silvia's Cave.

"In the cave deposits, we can see excellent documentation for the sophistication of the agriculture and the cuisine at this point in time. You don't grow seven different kinds of chillies unless you're cooking some pretty interesting food," Perry said.


Related medicine news :

1. Eating Spicy Food Daily Could Kill Cancer Cells
2. Spicy Pepper Remedy Equalizes Spring Pollen Allergies
3. Modern Medicine Originated in Egypt, Not Greece
4. Race Based Genome Project Launched By Mexico
5. Mexico and US border attain a new outlook due to BiNational Sustainability Laboratory
6. New Mexico State Hospitals Information Website
7. New Mexico Debates Over Forcing Mentally Ill People To Seek Treatment
8. Mexico Ministry: No Bird Flu Infection Across US Border
9. Crisis Of Bubonic Plague In New Mexico
10. Legalization of Abortion in Mexico City Raises Heckles
11. Wal-Mart Mexico Makes Shelf Space for Inexpensive Generic Drugs
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the ... Table 1-1 ). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 ... (HSV-1), according to WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television ... an interesting show that delves into an array of issues that are presently affecting ... benefit from open dialogue, this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College ... of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. ... accredited colleges, as only one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... California (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... Avid ... Joplin Ann Arbor Michigan boxing style concert posters. This is one of Joplin's most ... the Canterbury House at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The According to ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also think Holiday ... the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to receive the ... and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can see all of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Pays-Bas, November 27, 2015 ... au traitement photodynamique au Bremachlorin contre le cancer ... approche consistant à combiner l,immunothérapie au traitement photodynamique ... --> Une nouvelle approche consistant ... contre le cancer avancé.    ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 --> ... online. The potential to save costs, improve treatment quality ... from fully exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis is ... via mobile tablet or directly at the patients, bedside. ... ) -->      (Photo: ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Ein neuer Kombinationsansatz vereint ... --> Ein neuer Kombinationsansatz vereint Immuntherapie ... --> Ein neuer Kombinationsansatz vereint Immuntherapie ... Clinical Cancer Research vom 6. November ... vom 6. November 2015 berichtet. --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: