Chocolate. Kids love it and we adults crave for it (or at least, people with a sweet tooth crave for it). But did you know that chocolate never had anything to do with sugar or with any other sweetener in the past?
Cocoa, the World Cocoa Foundation tells us, developed as a crop in many ancient South American cultures, including the Aztecs and Mayans. “Researchers have found evidence of cocoa-based food dating back several thousand years. The cacao bean was so significant to the local cultures, it was used as a currency in trade, given to warriors as a post-battle reward, and served at royal feasts.”
According to the foundation, “When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the New World and began the process of invading, colonising, and ultimately destroying the native cultures, they also discovered the value of the local cacao crop.”
The Spanish invaders were introduced to this bitter drink and didn’t find it to their liking. But once mixed with honey or cane sugar, it quickly became popular throughout Spain and spread into Europe.
And that is how the big change to chocolate happened. But that was just the start of how chocolate would be known in society today.
Know the rest about the bitter-turned-sweet history of chocolate over at the Cosmos Magazine.
(Image Credit: AlexanderStein/ Pixabay)