At the time of the conquest, Mexico was very poor in vegetable and animal food. The people consequently had to make up for the different things they lacked and eat certain indigenous animals and plants, some of which a European would hardly think of tasting, unless compelled to it by the most extreme hunger.
Wealthy people eat as do the same class in Europe, but their table will always show some national dishes, and in the most fashionable houses pulque will be found on the table.
In dedicating these lines to the especial Mexican dishes it will be understood that we refer to the Indians and the poorer class of people, their food is mostly vegetable. The basis of it is Indian corn in different forms, from the green and half ripe ear to the grits and flour.
Half of the food of the Mexicans consists of tortillas. The corn
SEMELEDER F. WHAT THE MEXICANS EAT AND DRINK.. JAMA. 1898;XXX(5):240–243. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440570008001d