History of Chocolate
When most of us hear the word chocolate, we picture a bar, a box of bonbons, or a bunny. The verb that comes to mind is probably “eat,” not “drink,” and the most apt adjective would seem to be “sweet.” But for about 90 percent of chocolate’s long history, it was strictly a beverage, and sugar didn’t have anything to do with it.
“I often call chocolate the best-known food that nobody knows anything about,” said Alexandra Leaf, a self-described “chocolate educator” who runs a business called Chocolate Tours of New York City.
Enjoy This Video ~ http://www.americanheritagechocolate.com/home/history/article-18
The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica. Chocolate, the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the Theobroma cacao, can be traced to the Mokaya and other pre-Olmec people, with evidence of cacao beverages dating back to 1900 BC.
Chocolate played a special role in both Maya and Aztec royal and religious events. Priests presented cacao seeds as offerings to the gods and served chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies. All of the areas that were conquered by the Aztecs that grew cacao beans were ordered to pay them as a tax, or as the Aztecs called it, a “tribute”.
The tasty secret of the cacao (kah KOW) tree was discovered 2,000 years ago in the tropical rainforests of the Americas. The pods of this tree contain seeds that can be processed into chocolate. The story of how chocolate grew from a local Mesoamerican beverage into a global sweet encompasses many cultures and continents.
Chocolate. There are few foods that people feel as passionate about — a passion that goes beyond a love for the “sweetness” of most candies or desserts: after all, few people crave caramel, whipped cream, or bubble gum. Chocolate is, well, different. For the true chocoholic, just thinking about chocolate can evoke a pleasurable response. You may want to grab a bar or make a nice cup of hot cocoa before you begin exploring here.
This special online-only edition of Exploring takes a closer look at the sweet lure of chocolate. We’ll examine the fascinating — and often misreported — history of chocolate, follow the chocolate-making process, and take an online visit to a chocolate factory. We’ll also look at the science of chocolate, and find out about the latest research into the possible health effects of its consumption. Lastly, we’ll explore the somewhat controversial question of why chocolate make us feel so good
Are we really running out of chocolate? ~ FEBRUARY 2, 2015on