History Of Chocolate Origins
By Helen Injuter
Chocolate origins originate from all different parts of the worlds at different points in history. However, to start at the beginning of chocolate origins, you have to first look at Central America's Mayan and Olmecan civilizations.
As a matter of fact, chocolate origins stem from "cacao," which is a word coming from the Olmecan civilization's vocabulary over 3,000 years from the present. And Mayans believed that gods owned the cacao tree, which prompted the natives to offer the tree's pods to the gods. This is why the Mayan's regarded the cacao pod as a fertility symbol.
Chocolate origins have roots in the Aztecan culture as well. When Christopher Columbus went to the Caribbean for the fourth and last time in 1502, the locals gave him payment in the form of a bag of cacao seeds. But because Columbus had no idea if the seeds were valuable, he requested proof, so the Aztecs created a liquid concoction using the cacao seeds in order to show its worth. Even though he was still skeptical, Columbus took the seeds along on his return trip home.
The expansion of chocolate origins began to form when Hernan Cortes decided to travel to what was called the "New World." Because Montezuma, the Aztec ruler, mistakenly believed him to be a reincarnated god, he offered Cortes a cacao plantation. Because the cacao crops on this plantation grew and thrived so well, he expanded cacao growth throughout the area.
When Christopher Columbus and Hernan Cortes made their way back home, chocolate origins began to circulate across the continent of Europe. Once there, sugar was added to the cacao drink so as to make it more appealing to Europeans and give it the sweet taste that chocolate is famous for. For many years, it was the drink of choice among wealthy, high status citizens. A decade later the French elite became enamored with the cacao drink. By the time it was known in England, the drink became taxed in order to keep it in high social circles.
The cacao plant was only consumed in liquid form until 1828. At that time, it was made into drink form by grinding cacao beans, fashioning it into thin paste, adding spices and sweetener, and allowing the cocoa butter to float up to the top. Powdered chocolate origins did not take place until Van Houten, a chemist from Holland, made a cacao bean press to release the beans' cocoa butter. The powdered chocolate origins have similarities to modern cocoa powder.
Soon after, solid chocolate origins began. The press made by Van Houten was used to make solid, hard chocolate. After the butter and cocoa powder was separated, people figured out that they were able to melt down the butter by combining it with sugar and ground up cacao beans. Once done, the mixture was fashioned into a mold and turned into solid chocolate. In the 1900's, bar chocolate origins in the United States appeared and everyone in the country fell in love with its rich, distinctive taste.
Helen Injuter tries to get to the shooting range as often as possible to work on her handgun safety. Helen has a site with reviews of various wall gun safe models, as well as a review of the hidden gun safe.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.