One of the most popular vices of the Planet disappears from its country of origin.
Cocoa – along with its spin-off, chocolate – is one of the most popular vices in the world, and probably one of the least dangerous. We owe everything, both the pleasure and the calories, to the Mayans and Aztecs who drank it hot, and called it the “food of the gods”. Xocoatl – which means ‘bitter water’ in the indigenous Nahuatl language – was a pungent, aphrodisiac delicacy flavoured with vanilla and chilli pepper that was offered to the gods in religious ceremonies and used as a source of energy to stimulate its warrior people. The story has it that Montezuma used to sip it from gold chalices and that Hernán Cortés, upon his arrival to conquer the New World in 1519, was welcomed by the Aztec emperor with a cup of steaming hot chocolate. The conquistadores brought their discovery back to Europe and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
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