Some Foods That Came with the Galleons: SAYOTE, KAMOTE, TSOKOLATE

The Galleon Trade, which saw large three-masted sailing ships travel back and forth between Manila, Philippines and Acapulco, Mexico, lasted between 1565 and 1815.  A total of 110 galleons set sail during those 250 years of unprecedented prosperity.  The enterprise is said to be the first instance of global trade:  goods from China, India, and Southeast Asian realms (and other countries they traded with) were trans-shipped from the Philippines to Mexico, for further trans-shipment to Europe where consumers were hungry for imported goods.
The Manila-Acapulco Galleon Memorial
at the Plaza Mexico in Intramuros, Manila

The ships carried spices as well as silk, porcelain, ivory, lacquerware, and many more.  Such items were much in demand in European markets; the sales provided a lucrative business for Spaniards in the Philippines, in Mexico, as well as in Europe.
While buyers in Europe longed for Asian products, the Chinese were self-sufficient and wanted only the metal silver.  Spaniards in Mexico obtained from these from local mines.  
Thus, the return of ships from Acapulco to Manila allowed for the ferrying of agricultural products, thereby enriching the cuisines of both the Philippines and Mexico.
It’s interesting to note that some Philippine food names actually originated from the Aztec language called Nahuatl.
SAYOTE is derived from the Spanish chayote.  The word is derived from chayotli, the name of a Mexican squash.
Our KAMOTE easily relates to the Spanish camote, which — again — is from the Nahuatl camotli (their word for sweet potato).
Our third vocabulary lesson for today is TSOKOLATE.  Some folks might think that the Spanish chocolate is a European word; after all, the best chocolate products come from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and England.  Well, surprise, surprise!  The root word is the Nahuatl xocolatl.   One reason why the Mexican way of serving the beverage didn’t gain popularity right away is that they didn’t add sugar or milk to it.  It was a bitter “food for the gods.”

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