Did you know that chocolate originally came from Mexico?
The Olmec Indians used chocolate for their sacred rituals. They mixed it with hot chili peppers to make a spicy beverage.
Cacao, or chocolate, originated with the Olmec Indians about 3.500 years ago, and Ancient Mayans originally consumed the precious seeds of the cacao tree as a sacred beverage. The mixture of cacao paste chili peppers and other seasonings — which took on the name “xocolatl” — was believed to have energy-boosting properties, and was a favorite drink of the native royalties.
Its fame later spread to Aztec society and after the Spanish conquest of Mexico, to Spain, where it became a favorite of the Spanish elite. Eventually the beverage gained popularity among aristocrats throughout Europe and remained a status symbol for the wealthy until the first chocolate candies were mass-produced for the public in the 1800s.
Our love affair with chocolate continues today, although the sweet confections we guiltily enjoy are a far cry from the original bitter and spicy Mesoamerican brew. By Steve Warren, M.D., D.P.A.
“The divine drink builds up
resistance and fights fatigue.
A cup of this precious drink
(cacao) permits a man to walk
for a whole day without food.”