Wonderful, amazing corn
The American Indian was not a simple savage. He had a long and rich tradition. The cliff palace had round towers and high stone walls.
What did the Indians here eat?
Who were their ancestors?
Archeologists have found projectile points, pots and jewelry to begin to find answers to these questions.
For early Indians, the main source of food was a primitive type of corn.
Modern corn cannot reproduce itself because it has a tight, heavy husk. Primitive corn had a thin, loose husk. The kernels could grow right through the husk.
Some ears of corn found by the archeologists were 5,000 years old.
Because of corn, people began to rely less and less on hunting and gathering. As they relied more on corn, the population increased. Corn was supplemented with beans, squash and chili.
New religions came into play. People worshipped gods that controlled the rain, the growth of crops and the fertility of animals.
People began to decorate themselves with tattoos.
Women served their families a corn gruel that is called pinole today. It is made with a corn-based batter that is cooked on a hot stone.
Corn would eventually provide a major food source for most of the Western Hemisphere.
Pinole describes a variety of forms of parched or roasted corn, ground into a flour and combined with water and some spices or sugar. It can be made into a drink, an oatmeal-like paste, or baked to form a more-portable "cake." Toast 1/2 cup cornmeal or masa harina in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it turns light brown. Transfer to a bowl and mix in 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or ginger, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, honey, or agave nectar and a small handful of chia seeds (optional). Add a small amount of water and mix to form a paste. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10-15 minutes until it has the texture of a brownie. Or cool and store in an air-tight container.