Topics: Chocolate, Maya civilization, Cocoa butter Pages: 3 (955 words) Published: May 9, 2013

In 1500BC – 400 BC, the Olmec Indians are believed to be the first to grow cocoa beans as a domestic crop. Cacao trees have grown wild for possibly 10,000 years. The Olmec civilization only lasted until about 300 B.C. In the 14th Century, cocoa became a drink that was popular for the upper class of the Aztecs; they called it “xocalati” meaning warm or bitter liquid. They were the first to tax the beans. In 1492, Christopher Columbus was said to have brought back cacao beans to King Ferdinand from his forth visit to the New World, but they were overlooked by the other treasures he had found. Somewhere around 1570, the cocoa gained popularity as a medicine and an aphrodisiac. Cocoa seed is used for infectious intestinal diseases and diarrhea, asthma, bronchitis, and as an expectorant for lung congestion. The seed coat is used for liver, bladder, and kidney ailments; diabetes; as a tonic; and as a general remedy. Cocoa butter is used for high cholesterol. Scientific studies into the medicinal properties of chocolate have unearthed a number of ways in which the dark beans may be able to stimulate erotic desire among humans. This was an aphrodisiac among mostly women. In 1631, the first publication of a recipe for chocolate is by the Spanish doctor Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, based on the Aztec recipe. The bitter flavor is enhanced by adding almonds, anise, cinnamon, flowers, hazelnuts, roses of Alexandria and vanilla. The exact spices depend on the physical ailment. In 1674, was when solid chocolate was introduced in the form of rolls and cakes, and was served in chocolate emporiums. It was introduced in the form of pastilles. In 1765, Irish chocolate-maker John Hanan imports cocoa beans from the West Indies into Dorchester, Massachusetts, to refine them with the help of American Dr. James Baker. The pair builds America’s first chocolate mill and by 1780, the mill is making BAKER’S chocolate. In 1879, Daniel Peter and Henri...
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