Columbus on his fourth and final voyage, stumbled upon a large Maya canoe filled with trade goods, cacao beans was one of these goods. The canoe was seized and when the cargo was brought aboard the ship, it was noticed that whenever a cocoa bean fell to the deck, the Mayas would stop and pick it up. Columbus was not aware then of the value of cacao beans, that they were the currency of these peoples. This was the first introduction of chocolate to the Europeans world.
A thousand years prior to Columbus, the Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America were using the word "cacao" to describe this bean, writing it on beautiful potter use to prepare chocolate for the highest nobles and clergy of their time. .http://designsens.com/home-organization/. .
Like the chefs of today, the Maya people had a wide variety of drinks, gruels, powders, porridges and even solid chocolates, they were also quite good at adding other ingredients to suit individual tastes including a drink that contained chili called "chilli cacao". Adding chili to cocoa gives it a very pleasant flavor, a slight burn that is very pleasurable. .http://designsens.com/home-organization/.
.During an archeological dig on the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala an urn was found containing a beautifully preserved stash of cacao beans, the archeologists believed that they were petrified. Sending them to a Guatemalan expert for identification, he came to the conclusion that they were of the species criollo, the highest quality of cacao beans. When the beans were sent to the United States for further testing, it was found by a paleo-ethnobotanist he discovered that they were not beans at all, but perfect clay copies made from local clay.
.http://designsens.com/home-organization/. .While it is unknown why anyone would go to such lengths to imitate cacao beans, it has been speculated that they may have been offering it to the gods in exchange for the very expensive cacao beans.
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