Monday, December 6, 2010

Chocolate Supremacy


In addition to participating in agriculture and trade, the Aztecs were consumers of what today‘s generation knows as chocolate. Formally speaking, this was known as cacao which was cherished and demanded by the civilization. The Aztec’s usage of chocolate was first revealed by a Spaniard chronicler, Bernal del Castillo. His records stated that cacao was a beverage that contained phenyl ethylamine. This is the same chemical released in the human body when experiencing attraction towards another. Therefore, to the Aztecs, chocolate was a key ingredient to attract women. But not only was chocolate a seductive tool, but an important role in traditional rituals and the concept of political power. Plus, because it was in high demand, this treat was used as currency. A greater understanding of chocolate’s history is an essential attribute to it’s religious, political, and economic involvement in the development of ancient societies.
By: Taylor O.
Period: 3

2 comments:

aubreyharper said...

I happen to be a big fan of chocolate, and the origins are very interesting. Because it was in the reading of "World that Trade Created," I learned about it in depth there as well. The most surprising thing I find interesting is the use of the beans as a currency. Additionally, I did not know of the phenyl ethylamine, which explains the use of chocolate as a romance food.

Griffin said...

Going off of what Aubrey said, I found it intriguing that the cacao beans were rare enough that they were even counterfeited by some misers. It is also interesting that it was not originally valued for its taste, something we hold in such high regards today. It is hard to believe a substance with such noble origins is now snatched off the counter at grocery stores by little kids looking to treat their sweet tooth.