YES I LOVE CHOCOLATE!! And NO there are not pictures of me eating it, lol.
Thousands of years have passed since monkeys first found the cacao plant edible. MONKEYS!! I have a new found respect for any species that understands this glorious passion.
Mesoamerica, South and Central America, is the birth place of chocolate. In the earliest days of its consumption, by humans, only the delicious pulp was eaten. Later the Mayans and Aztecs consumed it as a liquid. It is unknown who first found the beans edible. The beans eaten directly from the pod are bitter and do not taste very good. It is even suggested that the first beans may have been roasted by accident and then found to be edible. Can you imagine the look on the faces of these accidentally roasters when that wonderful chocolaty aroma floated into the air.
Chocolate quickly became an object of value, and even revered religiously, in the Americas. Chocolate plays a part in Mayan religion. The Mayan’s sacred book, Popul Vuh, contains their story of the creation, and instead of an apple tree, there’s a cacao tree.
The Aztecs actually valued cocoa as a currency and it was used to trade for other commodities. The beans were the natives' "coins." A list of Aztec trading prices looked something like this:
1 small rabbit = 30 cacao beans
1 turkey egg = 3 cacao beans
1 large tomato = 1 cacao bean
After Europeans brought chocolate home they started experimenting with ways to serve this delicious pod. In the 18th Century the Term 'Chocolate Enlightenment' was coined and the development of chocolate, into all its present forms, was achieved.
The 'Peoples Treat' is enjoyed and produced in every part of the world now. I think every peace treaty should be negotiated over a cup of hot chocolate. God what a mellow negotiation that would be, lol.
My favorite ways to consume chocolate:
Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream.
There are thousands of web sites that will enlighten you about the value of chocolate but let me suggest that you skip all the research and get right down to ENJOYING IT!!!
PS....There was a lot of chocolate consumed during the research for this blog entry.