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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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atole (or atolli) a beverage made from ground maize, of Maya origin. Diana Kennedy (1986) uses a quotation from Travels in the New World by the 17th-century writer Thomas Gage to show how it appeared to the incoming Europeans:

Here are also two cloisters of nuns [in the Dominican convent in Oaxaca], which are talked of far and near, not for their religious practices, but for their skill in making two drinks, the one called chocolate and the other atole, which is like unto our almond milk, but much thicker, and is made of the juices of the young maize or Indian wheat, which they so confection with spices, musk, and sugar that it is not only admirable in the sweetness of the smell, but much more nourishing and comforting to the stomach. This is not a commodity which can be transported from thence, but is to be drunk there where it is made.