A Mayan staple poised for culinary comeback?

Central America

Petronila Martínez picks her way up the narrow path to a coffee plantation on the slopes of western Nicaragua’s San Cristóbal volcano. Along the way, she points out an abundant tropical tree, Brosimum alicastrum, whose seed may have provided a major source of protein for her ancestors. “We used to walk right over it,” says Martínez, picking a handful of the tree’s nuts—called ojoche in Nicaragua—off the ground. “We didn’t know what it was used for, but they say that in the old times people used the nut to make tortillas.” Now, Martínez and hundreds of other women in nearby villages harvest the highly nutritious nut and use it to make baking flour, hot cereal, cookies and more. Ojoche, also called breadnut, Maya... [Log in to read more]

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