Ancient Maya and cacao
For the ancient Maya, cacao held very special significance, as well as the derivative of that bean, chocolate. The bean was used as currency but the 'food of the gods' came to its finest form in a chocolate drink, made from the beans themselves, ground to a paste and mixed with water, chili peppers and cornmeal, adding other ingredients such as honey or annatto. It is believed that the consumption of chocolate dated back as early as 600 BC.
Photograph courtesy Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize
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