History & Description of Chocolate - The Condensed Version

We would like to bring you a brief history of this mysterious and wonderful food. And invite you to enjoy our beautiful, scrumptious tokens of what can become of chocolate when we work our magic!

Historians believe that around 1500 BC the Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula & Central America and the Aztecs of Mexico were the first peoples to use Cacao. It was believed to be divinely inspired - a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl, who brought the seeds of the cacao tree from the Garden of Life and gave them to Man. Chocolatl, as the Aztecs called it, was given to the gods and reserved for the truly elite which was taken as a foamy drink mixed with maize (corn) and other spices. Holding true to its divine roots, In 1753 the great Swedish scientist and naturalist Linnaeus named the tree from which the cocoa bean grows Theobroma Cacao “food of the gods.”

Christopher Columbus, who never actually tasted cacao, was the first to chronical the value that these beans held to it’s people. As the story goes, in the water near the island of Guanaja (north of Honduras) Ferdinand Columbus (Christopher’s son) captured a great Maya trading canoe. On board slaves were transporting materials for trade and provisions for their journey. About these provisions, the chronicler Peter Martyr writes: “...they had many of those almonds which in New Spain (Mexico) are used for money. They seemed to hold these almonds at a great price; for when they were brought on board ship together with their goods, I observed that when any of these almonds fell, they all stooped to pick it up, as if an eye had fallen.” A Mexican document from around 1550 lists the following prices: One good turkey hen equals 100 full cacao beans, a tom turkey is worth 200. One jackrabbit equals 100 beans, one small rabbit trades for 30. A turkey egg or a fish wrapped in maize husks will cost 3 cacao beans each, and a tamale is exchanged for one cacao bean.

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