The Mayans and the Aztecs believed (and perhaps some people still do) that chocolate was a gift from the gods. The Aztecs in particular revered the drink – they gave it to victorious warriors after battle, would use it during religious rituals, and even used cacao beans as currency.
The history of chocolate can be traced to the ancient Mayans , and even earlier to the ancient Olmecs of southern Mexico. The word chocolate may conjure up images of sweet candy bars and luscious truffles, but the chocolate of today is little like the chocolate of the past.
When the fruit turns green-ish to yellow, it is ripe and ready to be harvested. Inside the ripe pods are cocoa beans. These are covered with a soft white flesh that can be sucked. It has a sweet taste .
Ancient Egyptians were the first candy makers recorded by history . They mixed fruits, nuts and honey. In ancient India, candy makers used sugar cane. Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao, a tropical tree cultivated by the Mayans of Central America and the Aztecs of Mexico.
Chocolate’s 4,000 -year history began in ancient Mesoamerica , present day Mexico. It’s here that the first cacao plants were found. The Olmec , one of the earliest civilizations in Latin America, were the first to turn the cacao plant into chocolate. They drank their chocolate during rituals and used it as medicine.
Do The Maya Still Exist ? Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal.
Here are seven countries that make the best chocolate. Belgium . You can’t go to Belgium and not go to a chocolate shop – there are more than 2,000 throughout the country! Switzerland . Even if you haven’t been to Switzerland , you’ve probably had Swiss chocolate. Ecuador . United Kingdom. Ivory Coast. Italy. United States.
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
The hike in chocolate prices is being driven by the soaring cost of cocoa beans, which has risen 18 percent this year alone. On the one hand, poor yields from major cocoa producers (68 percent of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa, according to the World Cocoa Foundation) have limited supply of the beans.
The Mayans consumed chocolate by first harvesting the seeds — or beans — from cacao trees. They fermented and dried them, roasted them, removed their shells, and ground them into paste. This nutritious drink seems to have been the most common Mayan method of consuming chocolate .
Aztec use. Unlike the Maya of Yucatán, the Aztecs drank chocolate cold. It was consumed for a variety of purposes, as an aphrodisiac or as a treat for men after banquets, and it was also included in the rations of Aztec soldiers.
Pulque is an alcoholic drink which was first drunk by the Maya , Aztecs, Huastecs and other cultures in ancient Mesoamerica. Similar to beer, it is made from the fermented juice or sap of the maguey plant (Agave americana). The drink had its own personified goddess and was featured in episodes of Mesoamerican mythology.
Hershey’s chocolate is made from cacao beans, milk, sugar, and cocoa butter, but the actual chocolate -making process begins long before that. In fact, it’s a fascinating but labor-intensive process that will make you appreciate every sweet bite. Cacao trees bear fruit, and inside those fruits are seeds.