Saturday, March 8, 2008
Chocolate History... yummmmm....
What Triggered it: I have a habit of keeping Cadbury's with me in my purse - its a weakness and my reasoning is: Its an instant source of energy! And I have this colleague of mine - who's equally fond of chocolates as me - if not more! So the other day we were eating my last 2 pieces of chocolates and he exclaimed "I want to thank those people who came up with cocoa and chocolate-they make life bliss!"
So read on...
Warning!! Long post. Don't read if you have no interest in chocolates.
I did some 'googling' and here's what I came up with:
~ Before chocolate was a sweet candy, it was a spicy drink. Some of the earliest known chocolate drinkers were the ancient Maya and Aztecs of Mesoamerica.
They ground cacao seeds into a paste that, when mixed with water, made a frothy, rather bitter beverage. Drinking chocolate was an important part of life for the Classic Period Maya and the Aztecs. - Hmmm bitter? Thank God! Its now sweet!
~Folklore 1:Aztec Indian legend held that cacao seeds had been brought from Paradise and that wisdom and power came from eating the fruit of the cacao tree.
Ancient chronicles report that the Aztecs, believing that the god Quetzalcoatl travelled to earth on a beam of the Morning Star with a cacao tree from Paradise, took his offering to the people. They learned from Quetzalcoatl how to roast and grind the cacao seeds,making a nourishing paste that could be dissolved in water. They added spices and called this drink "chocolatl," or bitter-water, and believed it brought universal wisdom and knowledge.
Quetzalcoatl was cast out of paradise for the blasphemous act of giving this sacred
drink to humans.(The gods felt that only they should have access to chocolate.)-Gods being Selfish?!- If chocolates can do that to Gods, than what to speak of mere mortals like me?!
~ Folklore 2:A myth from the northern Andes that speaks of the crucial role played by cacao (from which cocoa and chocolate are made) in restoring the balance of nature after a greedy being snatched all wealth for himself. The myth begins with an omnipotent deity named Sibu who could grow animals and humans from seeds.......
Sibu transferred his powers to another deity, Sura, giving him all the precious seeds. Sura buried the seeds and left the site for a brief period. Unfortunately, while he was away, a third deity, a trickster named Jabaru dug up all the seeds and ate them, leaving nothing for the creation-work of Sibu and Sura. When poor Sura returned, the trickster Jabaru slit Sura's throat and buried him where the seeds had been. Very pleased with himself, Jabaru left the scene and went home to his wives.
After a time, the trickster Jabaru passed by the place again and saw that two strange trees had sprung up from poor Sura's grave: a cacao tree and a calabash. The omnipotent deity Sibu stood quietly beside the trees. When Sibu saw the trickster approaching, Sibu asked him to brew him a cup of cocoa from the tree. Jabaru picked a bean-filled pod and a calabash fruit and took them to his wives, who brewed the cocoa and filled the hollowed out calabash shell with the rich drink. Then the trickster Jabaru carried this vessel back to Sibu, holding it out to him. "No, you drink first," all-powerful Sibu insisted politely. Jabaru complied eagerly, gulping down the delicious drink as fast as he could. But his delight changed to agony as the cocoa born from poor Sura's body caused Jabaru's belly to swell and swell until it burst wide open, spilling out the stolen seeds all over the ground.
Sibu then restored his friend Sura to life again and returned the seeds to him so that all humans and animals might one day grow from those precious seeds and enjoy Earth's bounty. - Courtesy: Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.LATIN AMERICA: THE LORE & HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE
~ The Mexican Indian word "chocolate" comes from a combination of the
terms choco ("foam") and atl ("water"); early chocolate was only consumed as a beverage.
Chocolate was consumed by the Gods in Paradise, and the seed of cocoa was given to man as a special blessing by the God of Mexican mythology. Tonacatecutli, the goddess of food,and Calchiuhtlucue, the goddess of water, were guardian goddesses of cocoa.Each year they performed human sacrifices for the goddesses, giving the victim cocoa at hislast meal. God and goddess to guard Chocolate?!!! But human sacrifice?- sounds gross...
~ As part of a marriage ritual a mug of the frothy chocolate was shared. - this is something we can introduce too-isn't it? ;-p
~ Of course now that chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac-everyone knows.But did you know that it was banned in churches?! ...Opposed to chocolate because they thought that it awakened "lascivious desires," which must have seemed doubly sinful on fast days.
Hmmm, a lot of history to our favorite chocolate! But in the end-who cares?! As long as I can continue to have it whenever and how many ever I want... :-D yummm... Am going to finish the bar I have now - irresistible...