The History Of Chocolate

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the history of chocolate

1. How it began:

The history of chocolate dates back to 2000 BC. Cocoa, from which chocolate is made, was originally found in the Amazon about 4000 years ago. 400 years later, chocolate was being used by the Maya. They called the cocoa tree cacahuaquchtl (means tree) and the word chocolate came from the Maya word xocoatl which means bitter water. The Maya used cacao beans as a form of currency and cacao taxes were imposed on the towns by the last princes of the empire. Cocoa was also used to make pots, which was a symbol of life and fertility. The cocoa pot was often used in religious rituals, and in their text, coca was referred to as god's food.

Chocolate is made from the beans of the cacao plant. Originating from Central America, the Aztecs and the Mayans mixed the ground seeds of the cacao plant with various other herbs and spices to produce a spicy, frothy chocolate drink. The drink, associated with the goddess of fertility, Xochiquetzal, was a commonly consumed by the upper class Aztecs and Mayans, it was said that Montezuma drank the Cacao drink more than 50 times a day. The lower classes used the cacao beans as a form of currency, trading the beans for objects of value.

With the Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Mayan cultures, came the introduction of the cacao plant to the rest of the world. At first, the early European explorers though the drink too bitter, but saw the potential of this new beverage. They exported the chocolate drink to Europe and once sweetened with ingredients such as Sugar or milk it became very popular with wealthy Europeans. At first, only the upper class could afford the drink, due to the cost of exporting the ingredients, ...
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