Cocoa, which is the fundamental ingredient of chocolate, has been part of our diet for thousands of years. In this article we will discover the fascinating history of chocolate and its origin.
Chocolate comes from the beans of the cocoa tree. The tree produces large pods, which in turn contain 40 to 50 beans, which are fermented, dried and roasted to create the flavor and texture of cocoa.
Chocolate has its origins in Mexico, where, according to legend, the god Quetzalcoatl gave the cocoa tree to mankind, which was later named “Theobroma Cacao”, meaning “food of the gods” in Greek.
The Aztecs were the first to use chocolate as a food, they prepared a thick and bitter drink called xocolatl, served cold and flavored with spices, honey and flowers. Their culture made them believe that drinking xocolatl would bring them strength and wisdom.
Cacao was also used as a currency by the Aztecs and the Mayas. The Aztecs also used it as an offering to the gods and believed that cocoa had spiritual and medicinal properties.
The gateway to Europe: Spain. In 1528, the explorer Hernán Cortés brought cocoa beans to Spain, which spread throughout Europe.
At first chocolate was not welcome in Spain because of its bitter taste, but in the 16th century, sugar began to be added to sweeten it and make it more palatable. From this moment on, it began to be consumed among the high society.
It was also highly valued as a medicine and food, which led to the emergence of the first artisan chocolate shops.
From the 19th century onwards, artisanal production began to be replaced by machinery, and innovations appeared, such as the first tablet, the first chocolates, and milk was added for the first time to soften their flavor.
Nowadays, there are countless elaborations capable of delighting you. If you are a chocolate lover, come in and enjoy Xocolalla products!