So common is chocolate today that it hardly crosses our minds to wonder about the origin of this delicious food. Scrape the surface of its rich history and you will know how chocolate has been consumed for thousands of years. Delve deeper and you will discover the amazing intricacies and interesting events of the humble cacao seed.
Chocolate is processed from the seeds of the cacao tree which was discovered 2,000 years ago in ancient Mexico and Central America by the Mayas and Aztecs. From a humble beverage, chocolate has since evolved and found its way into the hearts of many.
But the first chocolate (the drink, not the candy) would probably have failed today’s taste test, for it was a combination of ground cacao seeds, water, chile peppers, cornmeal and other ingredients. Indeed, the spicy, frothy drink was far from the sweet, rich and velvety-smooth beverage that we now know. It was not until cacao seeds were brought to Spain and new recipes were created. In Europe, spices in the drink were replaced with sugar and the beverage was served hot instead of cold.