Located in Mexico, the Aztecs built a cultured civilization with unique kinds of food eaten daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In this easy lesson, we explain what kinds of food the Aztecs ate every day, including specialty cuisines according to different social classes.

Priests are high on the social class of Aztec civilization. Winged ants and giant lizards are delicacies only afforded by the ‘wealthy’ well-respected Aztec priests and other Aztec’ upper class.

The typical diet of the Aztecs included the first meal at ten o’clock, where middle class and lower class Aztecs usually ate maize porridge called atole. Atole was sweetened often with honey or peppers. The second meal of the day consisted of tortillas, beans, and sometimes tamales. The Aztecs rarely had third meals, but if they did, Aztecs usually would drink a corn drink spiced with sage. It was notable that only the nobles and wealthy upper class of the Aztec civilization had real dinner at a banquet or a party.

Other foods the Aztecs ate were beans, sweet potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, cactus, and chilies. Occasionally, Aztec citizens would have fruits like apples, cherries, and guavas. Rarely did the Aztecs eat meat. Research findings showed that during times of famine, Aztecs would even eat worms and insects, good sources of protein, along with skimmed algae cakes.

The Aztecs were also known for adding variety of spices to their foods, such as sage, coriander, vanilla, and even chocolate. In between meals, Aztec families would chew gum called tzictli. During holiday seasons, Aztecs celebrated with turkeys and even ate small hairless dogs called itzcuintli, relative to today’s chihuahua. Itzcuintli dogs were sold at markets, where Aztec citizens gathered to sell and purchase them.

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