Huitzilopochtli, Tenochtitlan and the Opuntia Cactus

The Mesoamerican deity Huitzilopochtli  was the patron god of the Mexican people and is the primary God of War (and the Sun) in the Aztec pantheon. The legend goes that after he was betrayed by a nephew he killed him and removed his heart. This heart was left on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco and, like many creation legends involving plants, from the rocks upon … Continue reading Huitzilopochtli, Tenochtitlan and the Opuntia Cactus

Amaranth and the Tzoalli Heresy

The amaranth species is used for its seed and its leaves are eaten as a green vegetable. The popped grain is popularly used (both in the past and in modern times) to make a sweet treat called “alegria” (happiness/joy). The amaranth species of quelite is a valuable plant and was held in high esteem by the Azteca. It was one of four grains (the others being maize … Continue reading Amaranth and the Tzoalli Heresy

Pápaloquelite : Porophyllum macrocephalum

Porophyllum macrocephalum Also called : Papaloquelite, Papaloqulitl (Nahuatl),Papalokilitl, Papalo, pápalo rollizo, (“plump” papalo), Quelite de mariposa, Mariposa Azteca , pucsnan’caca (Totonac), quelites oloroso, ahoyacaquilitl (sweet scented edible plant), chipaca, chaoacocopin, xpechukil, Pech´uk (Yucatán Maya), xac’ani (Otomi), wacamacho, ukche, tepegua (Queretaro), tepelcacho (Chilapa, Guerrero), tepelcasho, Pápalo macho, pápalo hembra (Mixteca), Chapahua (Totonaco, Veracruz Coast) Chapahuate (Totonaco), chivatillo (Michoacán), Mesis, Tepehua (Hidalgo), liendrilla, yerba de peo, yerba de chulo … Continue reading Pápaloquelite : Porophyllum macrocephalum

The Mighty Nopal Cactus

Two students from the Mexican university UNAM have won a prize for making a bioplastic straw from mango and the baba (for non-Mexicans this is a type of “slime” similar to that produced when cooking okra) of the nopal cactus. (1) This cactus is amazing. Apart from being a potential foodstuff of the future it is also capable of producing a non-toxic biodegradable plastic … Continue reading The Mighty Nopal Cactus