9 CHOCOLATE

Chocolate chocolate contains alkaloids such as

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Unformatted text preview: who whose name meant "bitter water". The whose ". seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After being roasted and ground, the resulting products are known as chocolate or cocoa. chocolate Chocolate contains alkaloids such as alkaloids theobromine and phenethylamine, theobromine phenethylamine which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Scientists claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. The presence of theobromine renders it toxic to some animals. animals. Chocolate has been used solely as a drink for nearly all of its history. The earliest record of using chocolate preearliest dates the Mayans. Chocolate residue dates has been found in pottery dating to 1100 BC from Honduras. Chocolate was consumed in a bitter, spicy drink and was often flavored with vanilla, chile pepper, and annatto. chile Chocolate was believed to fight fatigue, a belief that is probably attributable to the theobromine content. Other chocolate drinks combined it with such edibles as maize starch paste (which acts as an emulsifier and thickener), various fruits, and honey. Chocolate was also an important luxury good throughout pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and cacao beans were often used as currency. For example, the Aztecs used a system in which one turkey cost one hundred cacao beans and one avocado was worth three beans. beans. Vessels that hold chocolate are often marked with the Maya glyph (writing or symbol) for cacao. glyph Many vessels also contain chocolate residue. Many Aztec Chocolate God Aztec Quetzalcoatl Quetzalcoatl Quetzalcoatl – the mythical ancient Toltec king and god – was part human, part snake and part bird. He had a long, ugly face and colorful feathers. According to the legends, Quetzalcoatl received cocoa as a gift from the gods. In 1519 – the same year in which the Aztecs predicted that their feathered god Quetzalcoatl would return – Cortés set foot ashore in Mexico. would 1528: Cortés imported the first cocoa beans into Spain while the Spanish maintained and stimulated cocoa cultivation in a restricted area in Latin America. They dominated and even monopolized the cocoa market and tried to keep the secret of this new gold to themselves. Cortés led Spanish soldiers to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in search of golden treasures. Instead, they found storerooms packed with valuable cacao seeds. valuable This vase contains images of two men harvesting cacao pods, on the far right. To the far left, another man roasts cacao seeds on a griddle held over a fire, while in the center a woman grinds seeds into a paste. center The process for making cacao into chocolate remains basicall...
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