Atole de Maiz

This corn porridge is derived from the Maya and is a hot drink that surprisingly enough, can be refreshing! It is deliciously sweet and satisfying and can be bought from the street vendors across from Harry’s Hot Dogs.
Corn Atole, pronounced (ah-TOHleh) is one of Belize’s rich and very popular delicacies sure to quench your thirst on the hot sunny days. This porridge is derived from the Maya and today their traditional hot drink is considered a very refreshing and healthy food. The drink is so popular in Belize that it can be found in most places sold in a cup. The Creole people also are very familiar with the drink, which they call “caan lab”. The Aztecs and Mayas adored it and today’s new generations feed daily from it. The food (corn) that used to be a cause of celebration for pre-Hispanic gods, is still being enjoyed by Latinos through tortillas, empanadas, tamales and many drinks such as the Atole, which share corn as the common and main ingredient. Bestowed with as many names as colors, corn is known as maize, maíz, elote, mazorca, jojoto or choclo, and the dishes and drinks that can be made from it are not only part of the tradition of the people of each and every country of Latin America, but also part of the daily life of its families.

Now for some Atole de Maiz or beverage made with corn. To make this one, you need some fresh young corn, cinnamon sticks, sugar, condensed milk and water. First, cut kernels off cob, then, take a blender or hand mill and blend finely. Add water to mixture and strain with a colander or cloth so as to collect the rich milky juice from the thrash. In a separate pot, boil water and add the cinnamon sticks and plenty sugar to it. Wait until water boils and then add the milky corn juice to water. Stir mixture continuously for 20 to 25 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Then, add condensed milk to the porridge and enjoy a hot corn drink. If you prefer, you could purchase a cup of this rich drink at the local fruit and veggies stall located in the heart of town, in front of Harry’s hotdogs on Pescador Drive.

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