Ancient corn powers whiskey


Farmer Pedro Poot harvesting corn cultivated on his land in Xoy, Yucatan, Mexico. — ©2024 The New York Times Company

OF the 59 varieties of native corn in Mexico, nal t’eel is one of the oldest, having emerged in the Yucatan peninsula some 4,000 years ago. It grows quickly, largely unbothered by heavy rains or drought – so robust that the Mayans called it “rooster corn”.

Like almost all of Mexico’s indigenous corn varieties, nal t’eel in recent decades has faced a seemingly unbeatable threat: high-yield hybrids, developed primarily in the United States and favoured for their efficiency, though rarely their flavour. Fields once dotted with a rainbow of heirloom ears are now awash in wan yellows and whites.

Limited time offer:
Just RM5 per month.

Monthly Plan

RM13.90/month
RM5/month

Billed as RM5/month for the 1st 6 months then RM13.90 thereafters.

Annual Plan

RM12.33/month

Billed as RM148.00/year

1 month

Free Trial

For new subscribers only


Cancel anytime. No ads. Auto-renewal. Unlimited access to the web and app. Personalised features. Members rewards.
Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

StarExtra

   

Next In Focus

Saudis on AI spending blitz
Ragtag resistance fights a forgotten war in Myanmar
Death of a Colombian glacier
No place to pray
The cost of bitcoin mining
New recipe to fight obesity
Greece braces for summer wildfires
A life of isolation, poor food and punishment
A water crisis that software can’t solve
The godfathers go white-collar

Others Also Read