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Author Topic: C H I C L E  (Read 506 times)
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« on: March 17, 2009, 08:22:27 pm »

                                               Strictly Tzictli – sticky chicle!

Mexico is the home of chewing gum, and we hope the following will give you plenty of interesting facts to get ‘stuck’ into…

1. Chewing gum assortment

First, the history bit. Chewing itself is as old as we are as a species, as instinctive as sucking for milk, and the chewing of gum is an older tradition than you’re probably thinking. The ancient Greeks chewed ‘mastiche’ gum from the resin of the Mastic tree (hence our word ‘masticate’) for the same reasons North American Indians quenched their thirst by chewing the sap from spruce trees and the ancient Maya chewed latex from the Sapodilla tree in Central America: for fresh breath and clean teeth!

2. Illustration by Mary Louise Alley-Crosby
It can’t be a coincidence that Sapodillas (tropical evergreens known locally as Chico Zapotes) have been found near most ancient Maya city sites – suggesting they were planted by Maya farmers to provide resin for chewing gum… and much more besides.

3. Illustration by Mary Louise Alley-Crosby
Sapodilla resin may well have been used in the mortar sticking together the great carved stones of ancient Maya temples, to make shoes (dip your bare feet into the resin and it’ll thicken into the shape of your feet – perfect fit each time!) and to make incense.

4. Sapodilla fruit
What’s more, the wood itself is particularly fine (many Maya temple door lintels were made of Sapodilla) and the plum-sized fruits it gives were an important source of food for humans and animals.

5. Sapodilla leaves
Finally, its leaves were used to make teas to cure fevers and diarrhoea. Little wonder, then, that the Sapodilla was considered sacred by the ancient Maya.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 08:27:37 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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