Distillations magazine

Unexpected Stories from Science’s Past
July 22, 2016 Health & Medicine

The Ancient Chemistry Inside Your Taco

Dive into the world of nixtamalization, and find out how you’re eating a small piece of ancient chemistry each time you bite into a taco.

person making tacos
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When you bite into a taco, you’re tasting the results of an ancient chemical process called nixtamalization. It’s a technique that hasn’t changed much since 1500 BCE, and along the way it helped the Aztecs rise to power and made tortillas softer, tastier, and much more nutritious.

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