Oct
2
2009

Who Discovered Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the best foods on Earth. Other than its taste, chocolate is a multitasking food: it relieves depression, contains rich antioxidants, and even acts as an aphrodisiac. It has vegetable proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates.

A huge amount of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, and iron are found in chocolates. A bar of chocolate, preferably with 50% cocoa content or higher, has more than enough supply of vitamins A1, B1, B2, D, and E.  Chocolate is made from cocoa butter, cocoa paste, and sugar.

Who discovered chocolate

Long before Christopher Columbus arrived on the Americas, the Aztecs had been consuming chocolates in their original form for at least 4000 years. Legend has it that chocolate came from the Theobroma cacao. The tree is said to have come from the Amazon and Orinoco basins. The Aztecs called chocolate as the food of the gods.

Chocolate1 Who Discovered Chocolate

On his way to the Caribbean sometime in 1502, Columbus passed the islands of Guanaja, near Honduras. On reaching the shore he was greeted and welcomed by the locals with a bag of cocoa beans. The Aztecs of the island offered the beans in exchange for goods. Columbus turned them down because he found the chocolate drink too offensive for his taste. The locals called the strange concoction Xocolatl. Columbus sailed back to Spain.

Another European came around 17 years later. Hernan Cortez was welcomed in the same fashion by Moctezuma. The Aztec king lived in Tenochtitlan and adored chocolates. Like Columbus,  Hernan Cortez did not like the chocolate’s smell and taste either, but he well understood how valuable chocolate beans were. He schemed a plan to put Moctezuma away. He connived with a few locals and succeeded at his plan. Cortez built cocoa plantations all over the Caribbean.  In time he brought his harvest home and endeared himself to the rest of the Spanish empire. Soon chocolate was widely known as “brown gold” across the Americas and Europe.

Hernan Cortez Who Discovered Chocolate

Next, chocolate found its way into every European’s house. The “solid” chocolate bar was popularized by the Dutch around the 18th century.

 

Kinds of chocolate

 

In general there are around 7 kinds of chocolates out on the market today: Unsweetened chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, and dark chocolate.  The most popular of these is milk chocolate. It contains about 10% cocoa.

Chocolates and health

Chocolate comes from cocoa beans so it is supposed to have all the healthful goodness of cocoa beans. Cocoa beans belong to dark vegetable family. They are rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are special antioxidants that protect the body from aging. They also clean up free radicals. Dark chocolates have as 8 times as much antioxidants as strawberries, and nearly 3 times that of red wine. Flavonoids help maintain a stable blood pressure by releasing nitric oxide and balancing hormones.

Moreover, dark chocolates (70% cocoa and above) contains a sizeable amount of resveratrol, said to be the “fountain youth.” The only other known rich source of resveratrol is red wine.  Resveratrol has been shown to reverse aging.

But before you start gobbling up your dark bars, consider this: The study never suggests chocolate is a substitute for a day’s major meal.



About the Author:

Sam Reese is a web enthusiasts and blogger. He is a history student and loves to write and read histories of different things.

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