|Meaning:||a pear-shaped fruit with dark green skin, one large seed, and soft, light-green pulp; borne by the tropical American tree Persea americana and its variety P. adrymifolia|
A lot of people don't realize it, but 70% of all the food humans consume originated in South America. It is hard to believe that just few hundred years ago, things like tomatoes and bell peppers were considered exotic imports. Imagine Italian cuisine without the tomato, or African black eyed peas seasoned with... what?
It was the Aztecs who cultivated most of this food, bringing it from its original weedy jungle state to a real crop. The first thing they exported was corn or maiz. It was considered the food of the gods and some Native American cultures worshipped it.
The Aztec heritage of our food is evident in some of the names. People tend to name native fruits as they see them. For example, the purple bulbous fruit that we call 'eggplant' was originally much smaller and white. Hence, the name eggplant.
The Aztecs, not to be outdone, called the red round fruit that grows on a vine "xitomatl" (shi-to-mat-lh), which means 'plump thing with a navel'. It is from this word that we derive ours: tomato.
In keeping with their tendencies to name things after stuff that it looks like, the humble avocado (which grows on a tree) was named for its appearance. Our word derives from the Aztec ahuacatl (ah-wa-ka-tl), which means 'testicle', which is what it looks like (at least to the Aztecs). Their word could be combined with others as in the word āhuacamolli, from which our word 'guacamole' derives. Technically, the word ahuacamolli means "testical soup".
So, the next time you slice up a 'plump thing with a navel' for a yummy salad, or enjoy a nice bowl of testicle soup at a party, take the time to stop and thank the Aztecs.
Author: Stephanie M
|Meaning||a pear-shaped fruit with dark green skin, one large seed, and soft, light-green pulp; borne by the tropical American tree Persea americana and its variety P. adrymifolia +|
|Meaningnc||a pear-shaped fruit with dark green skin, one large seed, and soft, light-green pulp; borne by the tropical american tree persea americana and its variety p. adrymifolia +|
|Rank in 2000s||0 +|