The most important crop for the Inca, as well as the Maya, was and still is, maize — corn. Corn was used in ceremony, offered to the Apus — the mountain Gods — and planted during sacred rituals timed with the motions of the stars. We have even found corn carved in gold in underground tunnels in Peru, showing how the Inca worshipped this food. Researchers say corn was used in ceremonies in Ayacucho four thousand years ago. The first mention of corn is found in the writings of Pedro Martir de Angleria in 1492. The Spaniards said the bread of the Inca was maize or corn. It also was their wine. They brewed corn and made a drink known today as azua or chicha, similar to beer. Chicha comes in both purple and white versions, both quite powerful.
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