It has been said Mexican cooks can turn the most meager ingredients into pure gold. Mexico boasts one of the oldest forms of original cooking, dating back to its earliest civilization. Since those ancient times, Mexicans' skill and imagination have transformed simple foods into culinary treasures. Through hard work and precision, corn becomes tortillas and tamales. Beans simmer into hardy stews. Chilies add unique flavors to rich sauces. Mexican cuisine has come a long way, but techniques for making tortillas and tamales have endured through the centuries. Despite the creation of new dishes through the influence of many cultures, one aspect remains the same: today, as in ancient times, the food of Mexico represents a glorious celebration of life.