History of Chocolate
Where does chocolate come from and who discovered it?
According to the Aztec mythology, man received the first cocoa tree the God Quetzalcoatl made as a gift. This is how our love for chocolate began. To make a cocoa drink the Aztecs roasted the beans and ground them into a thick paste and mixed with water. A story says that the Aztec King Montezuma had drunk 50 golden goblets daily of a spicy chocolate drink called xocolatl. Cocoa beans were valued so highly that they served as the Indian’s currency.
The Spanish Conquistadors
When the Spanish conquistadors with Hernan Cortes arrived in todays’ Mexico in 1521, they received a gift of cocoa beans together with a recipe for the drink. This is how cocoa was introduced to Europe. The Spanish enjoyed the cocoa drink with added honey or sugar or spices, as that was more up to their taste. The Spanish court kept the recipe for the cocoa drink secret for almost a century before it was introduced in other countries in Europe.
Luxury Good and Medication
At the end of the seventeenth century, cacao was considered a luxury good and was so popular that a tax was imposed on it.
Cacao was not just a delightful treat, but also used as a medication to treat or prevent many diseases as well as a life prolonging medicine. That’s why back in the old times it was medicine men and spice merchants who traded cocoa and produced the first chocolate blocks.