Chocolate: how the Aztec ritual drink turned into a delicacy
Chocolate: how the Aztec ritual drink turned into a delicacy

The cult delicacy has only relatively recently acquired the status of a dessert.

The question of who was the first to discover the beneficial properties of cocoa beans and began to use them in food is still open. The culture itself appears to have its origins in the forests of the Amazon. Traces of cocoa were found in ancient pottery vessels belonging to the Olmecs, a people who lived on the territory of modern Mexico. The Indians used the pulp of the fruit, which contained sugar, and prepared, apparently, a low-alcohol drink. Similar examples can be seen today.

The culture was also widely used by the Maya Indians. The latter highly appreciated cocoa and even used it as a currency. It is no coincidence that the god Ek-Chuakha was the patron saint of both trade and cocoa. The fruits were also used in ritual activities: rituals at marriage and at funerals. The drink, made from cocoa seeds, had a reddish tint, which is why the Indians identified it with blood.

Mayan vessel for cocoa, circa 4th century

Maya added spices, chili peppers, or corn flour to the cocoa drink. The thick, saturated substance was available only to a select few: priests, tribal fathers and warriors. The dish was served cold.

The Aztecs considered cocoa to be a godsend. "/>

Missionary Bernardino de Sahagun in his General History of New Spain affairs "/>

Spain soon became the largest importer of cocoa beans. Gradually, the Indian curiosity got to other European countries, for example, to France and Italy, which, following the example of Spain, began to bring cocoa from Central America. The original recipe has undergone changes: the drink from cold became hot, and from bitter - sweet "/>

The first chocolate bar was apparently produced in 1847 by JS Fry & Sons. Later, the original recipe for milk chocolate was developed by the Swiss Daniel Peter.

By the end of the 19th century, chocolate products lost their status as a rare product - they were mass-produced. The trademarks Mars, Nestle, Hershey’s and others appeared.

<img alt = "Chocolate advertisement, 1905."src =" style = "height: 459px; width: 600px" title = "Chocolate advertisement, 1905" />

During the 20th century, the variety of uses for cocoa and its processed products reached astronomical numbers. Today, absolutely any type of chocolate is available to everyone, regardless of budget and place of residence.

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