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History of Chocolate, Written by the Aztecs

Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova

When one talks about Mexican cuisine, everyone imagines the delicious corn wraps known as tortillas, the aromatic Mexican beans, the different types of chili peppers and even the insects that are still eaten by Mexicans today.

It is a not very well known fact, however, that the homeland of cocoa is also Mexico and that it was a discovery of the Mayans and the Aztecs. There, apart from the preparation of various desserts, it is also used for countless drinks, the most famous of which is the melted chocolate with foam.

The wild cocoa tree was known to the Mayans and the Aztecs, who used it as a means of payment. In translation, its name means Food of the Gods, because the energy, which it bestows its worshipers with, has been known since the 4th century BC. At that time it was consumed only in the form of a drink mixed with water and chili peppers and it wasn't until 1874 that it was introduced to the world in the form of chocolate bars, but by a British company.

In order for cocoa to be extracted in the form in which it is to be consumed, the pods of the cocoa tree must first be scraped, their insides need to ferment, then refined and finally dried.

But this is not the end. This is followed by removing the shells, removing the grains and grinding them. They are then pressed to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa mass.

Hot Chocolate

It is hard to imagine how such a complex process was known to the Mayans and Aztecs, but it is a fact, that they enjoyed aromatic cocoa drinks long before the Europeans. The latter even initially found cocoa drinks disgusting, since the Aztecs preferred to consume chocolate very bitter - without the addition of sweeteners.

Today in Mexico, chocolate continues to be highly valued. Every self-respecting Mexican person should know how to prepare delicious chocolate drink for their loved ones or guests. For this purpose, there is also a special appliance for preparing chocolate, which is equipped with a grinder, so that the drink can get a thick foam on its surface.

Traditional Mexican chocolate is prepared, by melting 4 blocks of chocolate in 6 cups of milk, while stirring continuously. Since you're unlikely to have Mexican appliances on hand, you can use a simple blender to whip up the cream and bring out the sweet side of an otherwise fiery-spicy Mexican menu.

And with some chocolate, you can prepare some historical chocolate cookies, chocolate cream or chocolate roll.

We wish you sweet chocolate moments!