Newswire » Lifestyle » A Little Taste Of Chocolate

A Little Taste Of Chocolate


Cocoa powder is derived from the cacao plant, which is said to have originated from the Amazon region of South America. The cacao plant was revered by Mayan civilisation and was used in rituals celebrating life. The word cacao means ‘God Food’. Chocolate was sometimes mixed with flowers and thickened to form a type of porridge. The cacao beans were very valuable and were given as gifts, for special occasions, such as a child’s coming of age. There were no horses in Central America at that time, so merchants transported the beans to market by canoe or in large baskets strapped to their backs.

During the Spanish conquests of South America, chocolate was served cold, as a drink, and flavoured with vanilla and spices. The Spaniards did not like the taste but took good care to ensure the plantation of cacao trees because they realised it was a very valuable commodity. By the 17th century, Spain controlled all imports of cacao beans. It was not until the 19th century that chocolate took off as a confectionary item, up to that time it was used as a drink or as a medicine. Cacao is cultivated worldwide but 70% of the world’s cocoa is produced in Western Africa. The greatest chocolate markets are in Western Europe, where 45% of chocolate is consumed, however the Asian markets are still fairly untapped.

So, if you are still finishing off that Easter Egg or box of choccies, spare a thought for the little cacao bean who made this lovely treat possible!

Fountain News DigitalThis article was originally published in:
Fountain News Digital – May 2011 (Issue 4)

We are re-publishing all articles from our past newsletter, Fountain News Digital, and you can view all completed newsletters here. There were nine issues published in total between 2010 and 2012.

Timeline of our local news services (1994-2013)

#hashtags logo Hashtags:

Leave a Reply

© 1991-2014 Fountain Resource Group Ltd. · Registered Company Number: 193051C · RSS · Website designed by Solid Website Design