Traditional chocolate making
Cacao trees were cultivated by the Aztecs of Mexico long before the arrival of the Europeans. The beans were prized both for their use as a currency and for the production of a spiced drink called ‘chocolatl’. The Aztec Emperor Montezeuma is said to have drunk 50 jars or pitchers per day of this beverage, which was considered to have aphrodisiac properties, a belief still held as late as 1712, when The Spectator advised its readers to be careful how they meddled with ‘romances, chocolate, novels and the like inflamers… ’. The chocolate was prepared by roasting the cocoa beans in earthenware pots, before grinding them between stones. The mixture was added to cold water, often with other ingredients such as spice or honey, and whipped to a frothy consistency (1).
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- 1.Whymper, R. Cocoa and Chocolate, Their Chemistry and Manufacture. Churchill, London (1912).Google Scholar
- 2.Minifie, B.W. Chocolate, Cocoa and Confectionery. 2nd edn., Avi Publishing Co. Inc., Westport, Connecticut (1980).Google Scholar
- 3.Cook, L.R. (revised by E.H. Meursing) Chocolate Production and Use. Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch, New York (1984).Google Scholar