Quick Recipes and Easy

History of Chocolate

Chocolate as we know it today has been 1500 years in the making.

Using the beans of the cacao pod is thought to have originated with the Mayan peoples of southern Mexico and Central America fifteen hundred years ago. Beaten into a paste, the mixtures were combined with corn meal as a flavoring ingredient. Through trade the cacao bean became well loved with the Aztecs, who believed it had medicinal properties.

The Aztecs used the pods as a form of currency for trading and to pay tribute. The beaten paste served as the main ingredient in the Aztec drink that also contained spices. In its raw form cacao paste is quite bitter and slightly acidic. The cacao drink is said to have the power to increase a man’s stamina. It is recorded that the ruler Montezuma regularly drank fifty cups of cacao drink a day from a fantastic golden goblet.

Upon meeting Cortez and his Conquistadors in 1519 the Aztecs gave gifts of baskets of cacao pods. The Spaniards of course were bewildered by the hitherto unknown plant. In time the Spaniards started to drink the cacao drink as their stores of wine grew low. By the accounts, Cortez’s men found the drink refreshing but too bitter. They started to sweeten the drink with cane sugar syrup obtained from local sources. Thus are recorded the first steps toward preparing the cacao bean into the chocolate we delight in today. The Aztecs called their drink xocoatl. The Spaniards found the Aztec word hard to pronounce and renamed it “chocolat.”

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George Murray is the President of Centric Promotions, Inc. Learn more about the fascinating history of chocolate and see an assortment of luxury chocolates presented in gorgeous gift boxes by visiting us at: chocolate-gourmet-gifts.com chocolate-gourmet-gifts.com

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