When most of us hear the word chocolate, we have in our minds a picture of chocolate bar, a candy box or a chocolate rabbit.
The word that comes to mind is probably the eating, not drinking and the most apt adjective seems to be sweet.
However, about 90 percent of the long history of chocolate, was strictly a drink, and sugar had nothing to do with it.
The terminology can be a little confusing, but most experts these days use the term cocoa or COCOA when it comes to plantations or cocoa beans, before processing, while the term chocolate refers to anything made from cocoa beans.
Cocoa generally relates to chocolate in powdered form.
Etymologically trace the origin of the word chocolate in the Aztec word “xocolat” which refers to a bitter drink made from cocoa beans. The Latin name of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods”.
Many modern historians have estimated the discovery of chocolate for about 2000 years, but recent research suggests that it may be even older.
The book: The true history of chocolate, the authors Sophie and Michael Coe make a case that the first chocolate consumption extends back three or even four millennia before Colombian civilizations of Central America.
Last November, anthropologists from the University of Pennsylvania announced the discovery of cacao residues in pottery excavated in Honduras that could be dated back to 1400 BC It shows a sweet cocoa fruit pulp, comprising the cocoa beans, fermented in a beverage.
It is difficult to understand exactly when chocolate was born, but it is clear that he had cherished from the beginning.
For many centuries in pre-modern Latin America, cocoa was considered valuable enough to be used as currency. Indicatively 100 cocoa beans one could buy a pound of turkey, according to a paper tribe Aztec 16th century.
Both the Mayans and Aztecs believed that the cocoa bean was magical, or even divine qualities, and used in the most sacred rituals like birth, marriage and death.
The sweet or sugary chocolate does not appear until the Europeans discover the Americas. Legend says that King Aztec Montezuma offered the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes chocolate drink EXPRESSED satisfaction after accidentally thought about reincarnation deity instead occupier and invader.
Chocolate does not match the palate of foreigners at first contact, as described in his writings, and it looks like a “bitter drink for pigs” but once mingled with honey or sugar cane, quickly became popular throughout Spain.
By the 17th century, chocolate was a fashionable drink in Europe, believed to have nutrition, medical effect even aphrodisiac properties (rumored that Casanova was particularly fond of cacao).
He remained largely a privilege of the rich until the invention of the steam engine made it possible to mass production in late 1700.
In 1828, a Dutch chemist found a way to make chocolate powder removing about half of the natural fat (cocoa butter) from liquid chocolate, finely crushed in what is left and working the mixture with alkaline salts to reduce the bitter taste. The product became known as “Dutch cocoa” and soon led to the creation of solid chocolate.