We all know how chocolate tastes like, but what does the word ‘chocolate’ mean? It seems that the word comes from the Aztec “Xocolatl”, which means bitter water. The first people who discovered cocoa were the Maya, who fermented, roasted, and ground the seeds into a paste, then mixed it with water, chili peppers, an different other ingredients. Aztecs traded with Maya for cacao and they often required that citizens and conquered peoples pay their tribute in cacao seeds, which was considered as a form of Aztec money.

When enjoying a sweet chocolate bar we never take the time to think how it is made. Well, when something is as delicious as this, it’s rather impossible to imagine an entire complicated process. In fact, it takes approximately 400 cacao beans to make one pound of chocolate, while cocoa beans go through an eight step process to become a delightful treat. Chocolate is made so it melts in your mouth, as cocoa butter has a melting point that is just below the average human body temperature.

Europeans first discovered chocolate in 1519 when Moctezuma, the last ruler of the Aztecs, gave Cortés ‘chocolatl’, his favorite drink. Hernan Cortés was a Spanish conquistador sent on an expedition to colonise Mexico in 1517. When he returned to Spain in 1528 he brought cocoa beans and equipment for making the drink. Next, it took nearly a century for news of cocoa and chocolate to spread across Europe.

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