The origin of the Nahuatl word is uncertain, as it does not appear in any early Nahuatl source, where the word for chocolate drink is cacahuatl, "cacao water". It is possible that the Spaniards coined the word perhaps in order to avoid caca, a vulgar Spanish word for "faeces" by combining the Yucatec Mayan word chocol, "hot", with the Nahuatl word atl, "water". Chocolate has been prepared as a drink for nearly all of its history. For example, one vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of VeracruzMexico, dates chocolate's preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as BC.
The first people to use chocolate were probably the Olmec of what is today southeast Mexico. We do know, however, that the Maya, who inhabited the same general area a thousand years later from about ADdid use chocolate.
And not just internally. It is with the Maya that chocolate history really begins. The cacao beans were used as currency. Some clever person even came up with a way to counterfeit beans — by carving them out of clay.
The beans were still used as currency in parts of Latin America until the 19th century! The Maya also used chocolate in religious rituals; it sometimes took the place of blood.
Chocolate was used in marriage ceremonies, where it was exchanged by the bride and groom, I think I will have to revive this traditionand in baptisms.
They even had a cacao god. But the Maya prepared chocolate strictly for drinking. First, the beans were harvested, fermented, and dried. The beans were then roasted and the shells removed, and the rest was ground into a paste. The paste was mixed with hot water and spices, such as chili, vanilla, annatto, allspice, honey, and flowers.
Then the mixture was frothed by pouring it back and forth between two containers. The Maya thought the froth was one of the best parts.
Chocolate was also mixed with corn and water to make a sort of gruel. It was probably similar to the chocolate and corn drink pinole, still enjoyed in Latin America today. If dollar bills were edible, would you eat them? Probably not, unless you had some to spare. The same was true of the Maya — usually only the rich drank much chocolate, although working folks probably enjoyed chocolate every now and then too.
The rich enjoyed drinking their chocolate from elaborately painted chocolate vessels. Emperors were buried with jars of chocolate at their side. Clearly, they wanted to make chocolate history themselves. From aboutthe Aztecs dominated the region and continued using cacao as currency. Because cacao could not grow in the capital city, Tenochitlan where Mexico City is todayit had to be imported through trading and, what else?
The Aztec drank their chocolate much like the Maya, although they sometimes liked it cold.
One chocolate history legend has it that the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl brought cacao to earth and was cast out of paradise for giving it to man. Only the gods were fit to drink chocolate! InColumbus and his son, Ferdinand, were in the area, doing the usual conquering and such, when they came across a dugout canoe laden with supplies.
They promptly captured it and ordered the natives to carry the loot on board their ship. InCortez and his cronies arrived in the Aztec capital, where cacao trading was in full force, and Montezuma, the Aztec ruler, was rumored to have a billion beans in storage.
After Cortez and pals conquered the Aztecs, they kept right on using cacao as currency. By this time a rabbit cost 30 cacao beans. Must have been inflation.
But chocolate history would soon change forever, because Cortez also kept right on conquering other people. Conveniently, the Spanish had taken over lots of Caribbean islands. And on those islands was sugar. Next thing you know, somebody put sugar in chocolate and everybody was clamoring for the stuff.
Chocolate History in Church For a while, the Spaniards kept the chocolate secret to themselves.Chocolate history starts out in Latin America, where cacao trees grow wild. The first people to use chocolate were probably the Olmec of what is today southeast Mexico.
They lived in the area around BC, and their word, “kakawa,” gave us our word “cacao.”. The History of Chocolate. The first recorded evidence of chocolate as a food product goes back to Pre-Columbian Mexico.
The Mayans and Aztecs were known to make a drink called "Xocoatll from the beans of the cocoa tree. 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. 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. The history of chocolate is a diverse and mesmerizing one. Unwrap the fascinating story of chocolate through the ages with AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate! The history of chocolate is a diverse and mesmerizing one.
Unwrap the fascinating story of chocolate through the ages with AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate! Skip to content. For over years, chocolate, like gold, has been highly prized. BC, Amazon: Cocoa, from which chocolate is created, is said to have originated in the Amazon at least 4, years ago.