Chocolate - Food of the gods

By Penny Chavers
Origin of Chocolate – gift of the gods. Source: (Photo from www.ancient-origins.net)

These days, chocolate is a popular sweet treat and every holiday that comes around is another excuse to eat chocolate in various shapes and forms. Without it, there would be no s’mores or brownies, and a hot fudge sundae would just be vanilla ice cream with a cherry on top. But what many people don’t know is that chocolate actually began as a bitter beverage.

Chocolate comes from the beans of the cacao plant, not to be confused with cocoa, which is the powdered form of chocolate. The actual term “chocolate” is thought to have evolved from the Aztec word “xocoatl” which is the name of the bitter beverage that was brewed from the cacao beans. The cacao tree is called Theobroma cacao in Latin, which means “food of the gods.”

Chocolate has long been thought to have been around for about two thousand years; however, recently discovered evidence suggests that it was produced as early as 1900 B.C. in what is now Mexico. Pottery was excavated in Honduras which had traces of cacao residue dating back to 1400 B.C.