It was the Aztecs who launched Westerners to the fun of chocolate. They made a spicy drink from it, imagine it or not. Different South American individuals (the Olmecs and the Mayans) additionally drank chocolate, so when you might have a cup of cocoa earlier than mattress, you might be having fun with a drink which has historical origins.
The cacao tree was given a reputation which implies' the gods' drink 'by the botanist Linnaeus when he gave vegetation scientific names within the 18th century. He named the cacao tree in 1753. The traditional South American peoples believed that the cacao tree was a present that got here from their gods. Our phrase, 'chocolate' comes from the Aztec phrase for it.
The one that first launched Cacao beans to Europeans was Christopher Columbus, the well-known 15th-century explorer. Sadly, individuals didn't like the brand new drink. It wasn't till Hernan Cortez, the Spanish conquistador visited Montezuma within the 16th century that chocolate grew to become common in Europe.
The unique chocolate drink of the Aztecs was spicy and bitter, containing, amongst different elements, crimson chili peppers. It additionally had a number of different spices in it, equivalent to cinnamon, vanilla, and anise seeds. Different elements included almonds, hazelnuts, annatto (to offer it colour). Lately, after all, you should purchase darkish chocolate with chili flakes in it. How did it turn into a well-liked drink? Simple! White sugar was added and the sweet-toothed Europeans adored it.
You must admit that chocolate and a chocolate drink are temper enhancers. On chilly winter days, a mug of steaming sizzling cocoa undoubtedly makes you are feeling higher and hotter.
So what’s it about chocolate that provides it that 'really feel good' issue? Researchers have proven that it’s the flavanols in cocoa which are temper enhancers. Chocolate stimulates the manufacturing of serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter. That is chargeable for placing us in temper. Not solely does chocolate assist our temper, however it additionally improves our focus. It's no marvel that our ancestors believed that it was an aphrodisiac!
Curiously, the Aztecs gave their warriors the chocolate drink earlier than a battle within the perception that it made them extra brave and stronger. Within the Aztec group and later in Spain, chocolate drinks have been reserved for the upper castes. There was a tax on the cacao beans so the odd individuals couldn't afford them.
Now, within the Western world a minimum of, chocolate is reasonably priced and most of the people eat and drink it. Nonetheless, we not assume that it’s an aphrodisiac.