Food Management Digizine - Q3 2023

San Diego State University’s mascot goes beyond team merch and school spirit. Centuries beyond. A cool new historically accurate/inspired concept, Menu Azteca, just opened in the Snapdragon Stadium. The menu items are authentic to or inspired by indigenous Mexica people (aka Aztecs) and the ancestral locations of the greater Aztec Empire. Led by Executive Chef Tiago Battastini, the SDSU Dining team has created a wow- worthy, history lesson of a menu, including Tamal Azteca, which uses only ingredients that would’ve been accessible to the Aztecs prior to European contact: Corn tamal, mole negro, roasted poblano and nopalitos slaw; Capulines Azteca is “Aztec- inspired,” with toasted grasshoppers from the Oaxaca region; and Chocolatl Azteca:

a fiery-sweet chocolate-chili

truffle, a treat that raises a toast to the Aztecs’ iconic version of hot cocoa. “Aztec Authentic” items are identified on the menu with a corn icon from the Aztec sun-center (calendar), while “Aztec- Inspired” items are identified with a nopal (cactus) icon. SDSU chefs Jose Mendoza and Enrique Hernandez (executive chef at the stadium) worked closely with Aztec Identity Initiative Chair Ramona Perez, an anthropologist, to make the menu “about respect and honoring of our identity.”


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