“Every different kind of maize makes a different atole,” Amado Ramírez Leyva says. The possibilities are endless. Attempts to quantify the different species of maize in Mexico, or even just in the state of Oaxaca, are futile. The nomenclature is further complicated by the plant’s tendency to cross-breed over great distances, the near-infinite genetic possibilities inside its seeds, first domesticated by indigenous people in the Central Balsas River Valley around ten thousand years ago.
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Photo by Marcos Bolaños