Ah, chocolates! Who doesn’t love them? What makes these creamy, smooth, sweet, decadent, indulgences so irresistible? Oh, chocolates. How can I ever find out how you have gotten me so hooked since childhood? I can go on like crazy but I would rather make you go crazy with this blog. Are you ready?
Fact: chocolates have been around for the last 4,000 years. But, only the pre-Olmec cultures realized the presence of chocolates, which was also known as “Food for the Gods,” in 1900 B.C. The Olmec civilization, for purposes of information, was located in ancient Mexico, flourished in Pre-Classical (Formative) Mesoamerica from 1200 B.C. to 400 B.C. The Olmec civilization was considered to be the forefront of successive Mesoamerican cultures, which includes the Mayans and the Aztecs.
For the Mayans and the Aztecs, chocolates were such a revelation! For them, chocolates can be turned into exhilarating drinks, historical pick-me-uppers, and, aphrodisiacs (which were then believed to be spiritual and mystical).
Not only were chocolates were morsels that excited the senses, but they were also used as currencies back then! The Mayans and the Aztecs used precious cacao beans to trade for their essentials. As 1500 B.C. rolled in, a Spanish conquistador who goes by the name of Hernán Cortéz entered a barter trade with the Mayans and Aztecs and, instead of walking away with gold bars, brought back to Spain chocolates! As fate would have it, chocolates became a status symbol, as only the wealthiest of the wealthy families could afford chocolates.
Oh, you may be wondering how the Mayans and the Aztecs took their chocolate. They would prefer their drinks and morsels to be natural and bitter in taste. But, thanks to Señor Cortéz and his “amigos ricos” (that’s rich friends for you), chocolates, whether for drinking or eating, was sweetened by cane sugar and cinnamon. And, the rest is history.
The US, for its part, has just as much as a significant play in the historical milestone of chocolates. Chocolates got to our territory during the 17th century, according to the Smithsonian Institute. And saw many print advertisements of men and women savouring those magical squares of delights.
We’re sure that there are other pieces of chocolatey information roaming up and about American history vis-a-vis the chocolatiers who made our country the renowned kingdom of chocolates. Care to share some of yours? Slide us a DM so that we can keep the conversation going!
If you need more information about chocolates and other sweet treats? Just visit American Grocer and check out their latest candy offerings.