This article presents an archaeobotanical analysis from the site of San Carlos, a small Early/Middle Formative period homestead situated in the Coatzacoalcos River basin in the southern Veracruz lowlands, approximately 9 km southeast of San Lorenzo. Although archaeobotanical data from the Olmec heartland have become more widely reported in recent years, we still lack sufficient data to capture regional and temporal variation in plant foodways. Thus, we report the macrobotanical data from San Carlos and provide a quantitative comparison with existing data sets from other southern Veracruz sites with Early and Middle Formative components (La Joya and Tres Zapotes). Comparative analysis reveals that these three sites vary dramatically in terms of the ubiquity and abundance of maize, in addition to the frequencies of different fruit types. We interpret these differences in terms of (1) settlement location with respect to geographical positioning in terms of access to riverine wetlands and their resources and (2) their association with areas of developing sociopolitical power structures.