The word “cacao” comes from the Olmec civilization. The Olmec civilization in southern Mexico were the first to use cacao beans to make gruels and beverages,perhaps as early as 1500 B.C. Pre-modern Mayan culture viewed cacao as a sacred part of religious life, and central to society. The word “Chocolate” is believed to be derived from the Aztec word “xocolatl,” which referred to the bitter, spicy drink the Aztecs made from cacao beans. In 700 A.D., the Mayans had a cacao god, who they would engrave onto ceremonial bowls. All types of cacao are thought to originally come from the Amazon and upper Orinoco River areas of the world. The Aztecs used cacao beans as a form of currency. According to a 1545 price list, 100 cacao beans could buy you a good turkey hen. A ripe avocado cost 1 cacao bean. European aristocracy in the 1500s – 1600s drank a form of hot chocolate for health purposes.
During the Revolutionary War, soldiers were sometimes even paid in chocolate. Chocolate was always consumed in liquid from until the 1828 invention of a specialized hydraulic press made solid chocolate possible. The inventor of the chocolate chip cookie sold her recipe to Nestlé in 1939 for $1.She later claimed she never received the dollar, but did receive a lifetime supply of chocolate. At one point, the Nazis plotted to assassinate Winston Churchill with exploding bars of chocolate. The blood in Psycho’s famous shower scene was actually chocolate syrup. Ben & Jerry’s made the first chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in 1984. The largest chocolate bar ever weighed 5,792.5 Km, which is just about 12,770 pounds. What’s your favorite type of chocolate?