Throughout history and across the world, food plays a central role in myth and legend; cultures from every continent use stories to explain everything from the crops they grow and the animals they hunt, to dish origins and tastes. Introducing Forklore, a new series from Eater’s video team that brings these stories to life.
The first episode of Forklore (watch it in full above) explores corn, and its role in American myths. For cultures across the new world, legends about corn informed farming, retelling the the crop's process in various ways to ensure future generations could continue the harvest successfully. For the ancient Mayans, the myth centers around a corn god, who is sacrificed each year by being broken up and buried — a tradition which mirrors the regenerative nature of the plant. Iroquois' legend dictates which crops to grow near corn by describing the plants (corn, beans, and squash) as three inseparable sisters. Watch the video above to see animated versions of these and other myths, and tune in to Forklore each week for more of the legends behind your favorite foods.