Cacao and chocolate have a rich history dating back to ancient Mesoamerica. The Mayans and Aztecs believed that cacao was a gift from the gods and used it in a variety of ways, from religious ceremonies to everyday consumption. We still enjoy the delicious taste and health benefits of cacao today, but it's important to understand the cultural significance it held for ancient civilizations.
Cocoa was already around 2000 years BC. drunk
The earliest evidence of the use of cacao in Mesoamerica dates back to 1900 BC. in the Olmec civilization. But it wasn't until the Mayas and Aztecs that the use of cacao became widespread and deeply rooted in their culture. The Mayans believed that cacao was a sacred food and used it in religious ceremonies and rituals. They also believed that the cacao tree is a symbol of life and fertility. The Maya ground the cocoa beans into a paste, which they then mixed with water and spices to create a bitter drink they called "Chocolate" called. This drink was consumed only by the elite and was considered a symbol of wealth and status.
The Aztecs mixed cocoa with water and spices and drank it as "Xocolatl".
The Aztecs who succeeded the Maya also had a deep reverence for cacao. They believed that the cacao tree was a gift from the gods and used it in many of their religious ceremonies. The Aztecs also used cacao as a means of payment and exchanged it for goods and services. They ground the beans into a paste and mixed them with water, spices and chili peppers to make a bitter, pungent drink, which they called "Xocoatl". The Aztecs believed this drink had medicinal properties and consumed it to treat a variety of ailments.
The Maya and Aztecs liked to mix cocoa with honey and nuts
Cacao was used for daily consumption by both the Maya and the Aztecs. The Maya mixed the paste with honey and nuts for a sweet treat, while the Aztecs added it to a variety of dishes to give them a rich, chocolatey flavor.
The Spanish conquerors brought cocoa to Europe
When the Spaniards came to Mesoamerica in the 16th century, they were quickly drawn to the cocoa drink and brought it to Europe with them. However, the bitter taste did not go down well with Europeans, and they added sugar and other sweeteners to make the drink tastier. This is how the sweet chocolate we know and love today was born.
Thousands of years later, cacao is still highly valued for its health benefits
Even today, cacao is highly prized for its rich flavor and health benefits. It's a good source of antioxidants and magnesium and has been shown to improve heart health and cognitive function. As a brand, we are proud to continue the tradition of using high-quality cocoa beans to create delicious and nutritious products.
The history of cacao in Mesoamerica is one of reverence and cultural significance. The Mayas and Aztecs considered it a gift from the gods and used it for religious ceremonies and everyday consumption. Today we continue to enjoy the delicious taste and health benefits of cocoa and we are honored to be part of this rich tradition.
I drank while writing: Chuncho from Peru 🇵🇪