(maize) is a Caribbean word that means the cause of life
. The Nahuatl name for corn is centli
. After the arrival of the Spanish, maíz
prevailed in Mexico. Corn is an annual herbaceous plant. It reaches a height of over three meters, depending on growing conditions, and bears unisexual flowers. Masculine flowers sprout at the ends of stems; female blossoms grow in the axils of the leaves, forming dense spikes of tightly inserted grains, called ears.
corn belongs to tropical toothed corn breeds.
toothed varieties are Mexico’s most widely distributed; they grow in low-to-intermediate, humid and dry tropical regions. They produce medium to long ears with “toothlike” kernels whose texture ranges from hard to soft.
—are the basis for species improvement programs.
corn features large cylindrical ears and a high number of jagged kernel rows predominantly white in color. It is one of the most important breeds for the production of high quality white tortillas; kernels can also be yellow or sometimes various shades of purple
is grown in low, seasonal tropical and subtropical irrigated zones including the Northern and Central Gulf, the Yucatan, the Central Pacific and the South Pacific regions.
use and consumption varies, but Nahua, Amuzgo, Tepehuano, Lacandon, Mame, Maya, Huasteco, Totonaca, Tepehua, Chontal, Mazateco, Tzeltal, Chol, Tzotzil, Zapoteco, Zoque and mestizo communities consume it as corn on the cob and use it to make tortillas, tamales, antojitos, atoles
, a fermented beverage.