Exhibits on the Plaza

Cantina La Palapas

It has been said that Mesoamerican civilizations were founded on the cultivation of corn, or maize, which was the basis of their diet, along with secondary crops such as squash and beans.

For the Maya lower classes, cuisine was fairly simple. They prepared corn for eating in a variety of ways: as the flat cakes called tortillas, as a thin gruel (atole) consumed for breakfast, as a water and sour-dough mix (posol) carried in gourds into the fields to feed the workers there, and as tamales. Stews of meat and vegetables featured prominently in the diet of the lower classes. Dogs and turkeys were among the domesticated animals that were a source of meat, while deer, various wildfowl and armadillos were some of the animals that were hunted. Fishing was an important source of food for Maya living near the coast or by rivers.

Modern Maya cuisine still has strong traditional elements.

At La Palapas (Mexican for bistro) we offered the opportunity to sample cuisine inspired by Mesoamerican tradition: dishes such as Achiote Marinated Chicken Brochettes served on a corn tortilla and Cactus salad, and drinks such as Tamarindo, Guayaba, and Cuzcatlan.