From Feasting to Cuisine: Implications of Archaeological Research in an Early Honduran Village



Research at the site of Puerto Escondido in northern Honduras produced evidence of foodways in one of the earliest known villages in Central America. Much of the material recovered is related directly or indirectly to the production, preparation, and consumption of food. In everyday practice, the organization of food consumption in villages like this would have been central to the reproduction of social relations. In other early villages in Central America, the use of food for political ends has been given a causal role in the development of social stratification. Drawing on evidence for one particular food practice, the preparation and consumption of fermented and unfermented cacao beverages, we argue that it is through the elaboration of cuisine—regimes of taste and presentation—that food production, serving, and consumption played both of these roles.