Cacahuazintle

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"Cacahuazintle" or "cacahuacintle" (Náhuatl "cacahuacentli" 'pineapple-cocoa cob/cacao-like corn', from "cacahuatl" 'cacao' and "centli" or "cintli" 'corn on the cob') is the name of an old heirloom variety of white dent maize (corn) originating in Mexico. It has a large ear with grains that are more white, round, and tender than the typical field corn grain. The dried grains are soaked and/or cooked in water with lime or wood ash, then rinsed thoroughly to remove the outer seed coat as well as any traces of the alkali salts (from the lime or ash)—this is an ancient process called nixtamalization. This creates a fresh, wet hominy, which can be dried for later use or ground into a flour called masa to make tortillas, tamales, atole, pozole, etc... (the dry hominy can also be ground to make dry masa).

When boiling the grains, they open by themselves like a flower, and a loose foam appears. The primary use of cacahuazintle grain is in the embodiment of the traditional Mexican dish pozole. The Náhuatl name pozole, pozolli, means sparkling, probably from the foam produced when cooking this type of corn.

Cacahuazintle corn is said to have been in use for a very long time (and still is) as a prized variety for nixtamalization. It is difficult to find seed to grow it in America, but it can be found in just a few places on the internet. It is a dent corn with very large grains and a wonderful taste.