To Dinotopians, corn and wheat are virtually unknown; instead they cultivate a variety of unfamiliar grains, including a variant of quinoa. The tiny seeds are dried and steamed into a nutty-flavoured mash, or ground to flour and converted into delicious pancakes and dumplings.
The Aztecs used the whole plant and all its parts for many different purposes and worshipped it as a source of life. After their subjugation by the Spanish, the sacred grain was kept alive in hidden pockets in the mountains.
In 1582, a crewman named Tluca Uman of Aztec descent was traveling aboard the San Pedro. When his ship was wrecked, he was rescued by dowlphins, along with his cache of C. tluca seeds, safely sealed in coconut shells. The plant has flourished on Dinotopia ever since.
Tluca Uman’s likeness, in full headdress, and astride a dolphin, is often seen painted on dinnerware—an appropriate place for a symbol of plenty.