A little history about the Mexican bean / Una pequena historia del frijol Mexicano

He was known, cultivated, and used by the ancient indigenous pre-Hispanic of Mexico. Called in various regions, fregola, frijol, alubia, judia, is native plant of Mexico, some of its varieties. Fray Bernardino de Sahagun said Otomies, apparently one of Mexico’s indigenous peoples culturally less developed and more poor, “Their food and maintenance were corn, beans, chile, salt and tomatoes.” Motolinia other chroniclers say that in his briefs, which was sold in public markets corn “on the cob and beans, and near other seeds, and beans.” The Ancient History of Mexico, according to Veitia, I found  that the Toltecs other indigenous people, started to cultivated beans.
After the Spanish conquest occur, the Mexican bean had spread across America. Inca historian Garcilaso de la Vega said that “the Indians of Peru have 3 or 4 less bean-shaped, the size of the beans, and named purutus.” Later, settle the mexican bean in the Hispanic culture in America, the Spanish Doctor Francisco Hernandez, personal doctor of Philip II,  was send to New Spain to write the “Natural History of the Indies”, describing Mexican plants he mentioned the ayocote or bean Indian, some of its botanical family, such as cimatl, cicimatic, and tepecimatl ticimatl. In Europe, the French called it the haricot Mexican ayocotl remembering the word of Nahuatl,  from the spanish frijo to the  Catalan was call Fasol. Portuguese as fevao and in Italian as fugiulo. The English and Americans called it beans , because the Bean weevil insect recalling that as the cochinilla(mexican insect), resembles the bean seeds or beans.

In 1576 France suffered a severe shortage of wheat, which was a great famine in the village, but since that year there was plenty of beans (haricots), were eaten for the first time in several regions, saving people from perishing from starvation. The Mexican beans became popular , which previously had been repudiated, and now the people had shown they were good and capable of sustaining. Emile Litre said the word haricot had taken French Citizenship in the dictionary of the language, since the mid-sixteenth century, and later Gaston Leclere explained in his book “The Edible French” haricot that the term derives from the Nahuatl voice ayocotl with which the Indian designated  for bean. 1

1. Garcia Rivas, Heriberto “Cocina Prehispanica Mexicana” Ed. Panorama, printed in Mexico 2008. Pp. 119 – 121.

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Fue conocido, cultivado, y aprovechado por los antiguos indigenas prehispanicos de Mexico. Llamado en diversas regions, fregol, alubia, judia, poroto, es planta originaria de Mexico, en algunas de sus variedades. Fray Bernardino de Sahagun dijo que los Otomies, al parecer unos de los pueblos indigenas mexicanos menos desarrollados culturalmente y mas pobres, “su comida y mantenimiento eran el maiz, frijoles, chile, sal y tomates”. Motolinia otro cronistas, dice que en sus memoriales, que en los tianguis se vendia maiz “en mazorca y en grano, y cerca otras semillas, asi como los frijoles”. En la Historia Antigua de Mexico, segun Veitia, se ve que los Toltecas otro pueblo indigena, ya cultivaban el frijol.

A sobrevenir la conquista Espanola, el frijol mexicano se habia extendido ya or toda America. El historiador inca Garcilazo de la Vega dijo que “Tienen los indios del Peru 3 o 4 menos formas de frijoles, del tamano de las habas, y las nombraron purutus”. Mas tarde, fincada ya la cultura hispanica en America, el doctor espanol Francisco Hernandez, medico de Felipe II, enviado a la Nueva Espana para escribir la “Historia Natural de las Indias”, al describer plantas mexicanas menciona al ayocote o frijol indio, y a algunos de sus parientes botanicos, como el cimatl, cicimatic, ticimatl y tepecimatl. En Europa, los franceses le llamaron haricot al frijol mexicano, recordando la palabra ayocotl, del nahua; del espanol frijol paso a catalan como fasol. Al portugues como fevao y al italiano como fugiulo. Los ingleses y norteamericanos le llamaron beans a los frijoles, recordando el insecto Bean weevil, que como la cochinilla, semeja las semillas o granos del frijol.

En 1576 Francia padecio una enorme escasez de trigo, que produjo una gran hambre en el pueblo, pero como ese ano hubo abundancia de frijoles (haricots), fueron comidos por primera vez en varias regions, salvandose asi las personas de perecer inanicion. Con ello se popularizaron los frijoles de origen mexicano, que antes habian sido repudiados, y que ahora la gente habia comprobado que eran Buenos y capaces de sustentar. Emile Litre dijo que la palabra haricot habia tomado cuidadania francesa en el diccionario de la lengua, desde mediados del siglo XVI, y mas tarde Gaston Leclere expuso en su obra “Las Legumbres de Francia”, que el termino haricot deriba de la voz nahua ayocotl, con el cual se designo el frijol indio.1

1. Garcia Rivas, Heriberto “Cocina Prehispanica Mexicana” Ed. Panorama, impreso en Mexico 2008. Pp. 119 – 121.

13 thoughts on “A little history about the Mexican bean / Una pequena historia del frijol Mexicano

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