Cacao is a super-food consisting of some very high-quality active ingredients; such as vitamins, antioxidants & minerals – ingredients which are disease fighting and anti-aging. History goes that that cacao was first discovered by people called the Olmecs – they noticed rats enjoying it very heartily, and then realized that this ‘stuff’ came from a tree producing the wonderful flavors of chocolate.
They were probably the first humans to eat of the cacao beans – later crushing the beans and adding spices and herbs; then cultivating it in their Mexican environment. Gradually the Mayans and Aztecs also cultivated cacao, even using it as a monetary and measuring unit. Cacao became noted as a symbol which meant abundance, and it went on to be used even in religious ceremonies.
History of Cacao
Drinking cacao was once deemed to be only a privilege that the rich could enjoy and sometimes embattled soldiers during wartime would drink it too. Then in 1502, Columbus saw his first glimpse of the cacao bean when he stopped over in Nicaragua.
Discovery of Brown Gold
However, the real importance of the ‘brown gold’ was only recognized when Hernando Cortez drank some of it with Montezuma, the famed Aztec emperor, and he brought it to his Spanish courts later in 1528. He also brought over the necessary equipment so that it could be brewed properly in his country. But still, it was not yet recognized for its importance even then.
It was in 1585 that a shipload of cacao beans was sent to the Iberian Peninsula from Spain, and this launched the cacao trade; after which chocolate shops were started which heralded in a demand for this delicious ‘nectar’ of the new world.
Food Of the Gods
- the very first chocolate sweet appeared in 1674 in England; and
- the powder came from the Dutch in 1828, chocolate bars from Great Britain in 1830 and later, chocolates with hazelnuts in. Switzerland followed with their famous Nestlé chocolates, and it was from 1830-1879 that Lindt would develop his chocolate fondant. Later the sweet maker, Hershey started producing chocolate at his Pennsylvania factory in the USA. (need to edit this section)
Today, chocolate is the most popular sweet throughout the world, and over 3 million tonnes of cacao beans are being consumed every year. Chocolate a natural aphrodisiac is also good for the heart and your brian.
No wonder the Aztecs and Mayans considered this gift the “food of the gods”