History of Chocolate

Essay by kgrahamCollege, UndergraduateA, June 2014

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History and Making of Choclate

+The treat that now lays quietly in its wrapper that most of the world indulges themselves on carries a story of exotic places, long journeys and small families that raise delicate tropical fruit trees. As you peel back the wrapper, you're uncovering the cacao tree's seed and joining people the world over who have turned to this mysterious food for ritual, medicinal and sheer pleasure for the past 4,000 years (Smithsonian.com 2014).

Many modern historians have estimated that chocolate has been around for about 2000 years, but recent research suggests that it may be even older. The first so-called recorded evidence of chocolate as a food product goes back to Pre-Columbian Mexico. The Mayans and Aztecs were known to make a drink called "Xocoatll from the beans of the cocoa tree.

In the book The True History of Chocolate, authors Sophie and Michael Coe make a case that the earliest linguistic evidence of chocolate consumption stretches back three or even four millennia, to pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica such as the Olmec. November 2007, anthropologists from the University of Pennsylvania announced the discovery of cacao residue on pottery excavated in Honduras that could date back as far as 1400 B.C.E. It appears that the sweet pulp of the cacao fruit, which surrounds the beans, was fermented into an alcoholic beverage of the time (Smithsonian.com 2014).

In 1528, the conquering Spaniards returned to Spain from the Mexican peninsula with chocolate to consumed as a beverage. A similar chocolate drink was brought to a royal wedding in France in 1615, and England welcomed chocolate in 1662. To this point "chocolate" as we spell it today, had been spelled variously as "chocalatall, "jocolatte", "jacolatte",