A History of Chocolate

From the Nahuatl language of the


Aztecs of Mexico, the word


chocolate is derived for the word


xocolatl a combination of the


words, xocolli which means bitter


and atl which is water.


It has been suggested that the Spaniards


coined the word using the Maya


word chocol and replacing the Maya


term for water which was haa with


the Aztec word atl, therefore the


word chocolate. It is more likely


the term was created by the Aztecs


who had used the familiar Mayan


word for the "cacao" bean. The


first reports of chocolate to the


known world were when Cortes


reported the drink known as


xocolatl to the Spanish King.


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An ancient Mayan pot found with


chocolate residue indicates the


Mayans drank chocolate 2,600 years


ago; this is the earliest record


of the use of cacao. The goddess


of fertility Xochiquetzal, was


associated with chocolate by the


Aztecs. The Aztecs drank a spicy,


bitter form of chocolate called


xocatl that was frequently


seasoned with vanilla, chili


pepper and annatto.


It was thought to fight fatigue


which could be because of the


theobromine content, which is


similar to caffeine. Throughout


pre-Columbian Mesoamerica


chocolate was a luxury and the


cacao beans were used as a form of


currency. Chocolate drinks were


also combined with maize starch


paste which thickened it, honey


and different fruits.


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About 2/3s of the cocoa in the


world comes from West Africa, and


half of that is from the Ivory


Coast. As with many food


producers cocoa farmers are


controlled by the world market.


Prices can vary for $945.00 to


$5,672.00 a ton in just a couple


of years.


Cocoa farmers, unlike those who


invest in trading cocoa,


cant abandon their trees or reduce


production as easily as investors


can dump their stocks. It has been


stated that 90% of cocoa farms on


the Ivory Coast have resorted to


slave labor when prices drop in


order to remain in business.


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Thank you,


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About The Author, Carmen Sandago
I used to be an office and motel cleaner earning minimum wage on a contract by contract basis, working very hard to make ends meet. I have no pedigree, I am a high school dropout from a broken family. I was forced to stay at home after my baby was born, this was like a visit from an angel... I had to find a way of earn a living without leaving home. This was a life turning event... Today I enjoy an extraordinary life, earning in excess of $80,000 a month which allows me to endulge on those things I never thought It was possible before - including having my dream home. I was fortunate enough to find the right business to earn a substantial monthly income from the confort of my own home.