Sunday, October 12, 2008
Vanilla & chocolate both originate in Mexico
Originally cultivated by Pre-Colombian Mesoamerican peoples, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both the spice and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.
Chocolate comprises a number of raw and processed foods that are produced from the seed of the tropical cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Central America and Mexico, with its earliest documented use around 1100 BC.
The majority of the Mesoamerican peoples made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning "bitter water".
The Europeans would, much later, add sugar and create Milk Chocolate, the magical edible that you and I crave.