What do you know about the most delicious product in the world? What is its origin and history? Read and find out more about its development in the world.
Lots of people really like chocolate. It is delicious product, which is able to raise the spirits. However, there are plenty of chocolate facts, which are still unknown to the majority of people.
What is interesting about chocolate?
- Its origin. You possibly know that it is made of cocoa. In fact, only several species of this tree is used for such purpose. This industry is global and they are grown everywhere. Concerning its origins, there are still many doubts. Some researchers think that a particular sort of cocoa first appeared in South Africa and then spread across the continent. The others are sure that it has come from the land of Amazon river of Venezuela. Lots of plants of such a type are also found in South America.
- History. It is known that cocoa relatives were used to cook various alcoholic drinks. People started to try cultivating it many years ago by processing seeds. The first successful domestication happened in the North (Mesoamerica). It refers to the time of the first millennium B.C. It is still impossible to say for sure, to what extend those cocoa seeds have been used. The predecessor of cocoa was found as well. Various cultures used this product, but Maya were the ones, who gave it a religious meaning. They even had a special ritual for preparing cocoa. The most popular was a beverage called kakaw. Since that time, the basics of its preparation remained the same for many years.
- Etymology. According to the linguists, this word came from Mayan culture. It derived from the Mixe-Zoquean language. There is a common believe that Aztecs took this word from their own culture. It came from Spaniards. Original pronunciation is thought to sound like kakawa. As for the Maya, they also used cocoa as currency. They were the ones, who had taught European people to use it in drinks. The word ‘chocolate’ came from the dialect of Nahautl. They had the word ‘chikol’ or ‘chokol’. It has become a basis for a modern European word. The old name was ‘theobroma’. C. Linnaeus added it to hid binomial classification calling the product Theobroma Cacao.
- Effects and composition. The product is proved to have two main components, which have been found after processing the seeds. They are butter and solids. Butter is a complex fat, which gives smoothness to nowadays’ chocolate. It is also widely applied in cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry. Solids are starches and proteins, which can be ground into cocoa powder. There are also magnificent mood-altering compounds here. They are:
Theobromine also works as aphrodisiac and influences central nervous system. Nevertheless, you should know that it is dangerous for particular kinds of animals including pets, like dogs or cats. Caffeine in its turn is an active component, which has an effect on cardiovascular system. It is able to stimulate your body and intellect. Of course, flavor of chocolate makes the greatest part of its fame.
- European invasion of chocolate. Cocoa seed were brought to Europe by Christophor Columbus. Later Spaniards started their importing activity. They introduced chocolate to Spain. Mayan beverage soon became quite popular there. The first processing in France opened in the 17th century. Many years have passed until chocolate has become available to plain people. The trade expanded and so did the usage of chocolate. For the modern world, it has become the motivation of development of new confectionary and desserts application. In the 19th century, the principle of processing changed as well. Innovation of the process allowed people to create solid chocolate bars in the middle of the 19th century. In 1866, a cocoa extract was released. Lots of factories in different countries were opened during that time.
It is a mass product today, adored by people all over the world. More and more chocolate recipes keep appearing every day giving us a unique chance to enjoy the splendid taste of this dainty.
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