An ancient stew of corn, fish or long-simmered meat, and a garden's worth of vegetable toppings, pozole is Mexican party food. It's the kind of labor-intensive but universally beloved dish to break out for holidays and special occasions. There is no known original pozole or single birthplace; it dates back to indigenous religious festivals well before the Hispanic conquest, and early Spanish texts shed little light on its history. As Mayan and other civilizations traded goods across ancient Mexico, pozole migrated along with them, even up north to native tribes in the American Southwest, where the cooks incorporated the local practice of roasting green chiles and it is now spelled "posole." Today, Mexican pozole comes in red, green, and white varieties, and every region has its preferred proteins and garnishes. But the corn is nonnegotiable.