Like the food common to modern day Mexico, Aztec food tended to be both rich and spicy. In fact, many of the ancient Aztec foods were flavored with chili peppers and contained spicy sauces. In addition, the main food of the Aztecs was the tlaxcalli, which was a corn-meal pancake similar to the modern day tortilla. This primary Aztec food was commonly wrapped around meat and vegetables in order to make tacos.
Many Aztec other recipes included meat. Most of the meat added to Aztec foods was gained through hunting, such as geese, ducks, deer, and rabbits. In fact, the Aztecs only raised two animals for meat: dogs and turkeys.
Fruits and vegetables provided a strong base for many Aztec foods. The most important of these vegetables was maize because of its ease of growth in the soil and climate of the area. For this reason, maize was used to make a wide variety of other Aztec foods. For example, maize was used to make tortilla shells. Learning how to make tortilla shells was one of the primary rights of passage for young Aztec women. Tortillas were particularly useful because they could be eaten fresh or they could be stored to be eaten later, which was valuable for traveling warriors and merchants.
Xoars were also made with a maize base. This meal was made from maize dough, which was shaped into a ball. This was then filled with chilies, beans, and sometimes meat. The entire ball was wrapped in maize leaves and cooked through a steaming process in side a clay pot.
Atole, which was a thin gruel made of maize flour flavored with fruits and chilies, was another common meal.
A special soup called pozole also contained large kernels of maize and, of course, another of the Aztec foods was simply corn on the cob. Maize was so important in the Aztec culture that it was even an important component of their religion.
Beans were also served with every Aztec meal. Other fruits and vegetables common to the Aztec diet included avocados, tomatoes and squash.
The Aztec’s had a passion for chocolate. In fact, one of the most sought after Aztec foods was actually a drink made of chocolate. Though the chocolate drink was a favorite treat of the Aztecs, only the wealthy were able to drink it often. Another common Aztec drink was the octli, which was made from the juice of maguey plants. This tasty drink was a commonly used when dining.
Here's an ancient Aztec recipe for hot chocolate:
1/2 lb semisweet cooking chocolate
4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 drops vanilla
1. Break the chocolate into small pieces.
2. Place the chocolate pieces in the top of a double boiler (a heatproof bowl can be used instead).
3. Fill the bottom of the double boiler with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, the turn the heat down to make the water boil gently.
4. Place the container containing the chocolate over the container with the boiling water.
5. Stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon until it has melted.
6. Pour the milk into another saucepan and heat it gently without allowing it to boil.
7. Pour the melted chocolate into the hot milk.
8. Add the cinnamon and the vanilla to the mixture, then bring the mixture to a boil.
9. Turn the heat down. Whisk the mixture for 2 minutes until it is foaming.
10. Pour the chocolate into mugs. Whisk the chocolate again to bring foam to the top of each mug.