By Mazur Dasha
Maya Civilization is the cradle of chocolate
Opening cocoa is associated with Maya tribes who lived in South America since about 900 years BC.
"Food of Gods"
Despite its bitter taste, this drink was highly appreciated by Maya tribes, who called it "food of gods“. Chocolate was traditionally consumed during religious ceremonies or weddings.
Chocolate and trade
Maya were paying taxes of Aztecs by giving them cocoa beans.
Chocolate quickly gained a leading position in the economy of the Aztecs.
Money grow on trees
Cocoa beans were valued by Aztecs so high that they were used as money. Food and clothes could be paid by cocoa beans. So, from the point of view of the Aztecs, money really grew on trees!
A small but healing grain
Maya and Aztecs drank cocoa not only because of its taste and flavor , but also in medicinal purposes. Cocoa used to reduce fever, treatment of seizures and skin rashes.
Columbus discovered cocoa
When Columbus and his crew landed on the shore, the Aztecs met them with gifts - fruit of the cocoa. During the welcoming ceremony a few grains fell into the water, and people rushed to collect them, as if it was about the most priceless treasure in the world.
The conquistador of chocolate
In 1502 Christopher Columbus landed on the shores of America, where he opened a lot of new products, including cocoa. On his return to Spain, he presented cocoa beans to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who didn’t understand this strange gift.
Chocolate conquers Spain
Only when Cortes returned to Spain in 1528, the royal couple became interested in cocoa. Unlike Columbus, Cortes brought not only the beans but also recipes for chocolate drink.
For decades cocoa was a spanish secret, but eventually drink recipe quickly spread across Europe.
Cocoa appeared in France thanks to the wedding of King Louis 13 and the Spanish princess Anne of Austria.
The UK and America
Soon chocolate appeared in the UK. Cocoa was the privilege of upper classes, only men had the opportunity to visit shops with chocolate.
It was only 1712, when the chocolate has reached the shores of America.
After Technical Revolution we have the possibility to enjoy chocolate made by new recipes.