An analysis of two vessels unearthed in Central Mexico has shown conclusively that chocolate (the drink) was consumed as early as 1900BCE by the Mokaya People in the Soconusco area of what is today the Mexican State of Chiapas. The London Times online reported today that an archeologists working on the Paso de la Amada site found chemical traces of theobromine, the stimulant that gives cocoa and chocolate its kick, in two pottery vessels, one from Paso de la Amada site and another from an Olmec site at El Manatá.
The Olmec, according to anthropologists Sophie and Michael Coe, are the earliest know users of cocoa in the world. The Coes are, of course, the authors of The True History of Chocolate, probably the best history of chocolate written so far. The analysis of the vessels’ content was undertaken by Jeffrey Hurst at the Hershey Foods Technical Center who also helped proof the previous age record. In 2007, two Maya vessels discovered in Honduras that dated back to 1200 BCE contained theobromine. This new discovery dates the known consumption of chocolate back to almost 4000 years ago.
So maybe chocolate is the world’s oldest favorite food. If you really want to try chocolate á la Olmec or Maya and you don’t want to do the corn (maize) gruel/cold water routine (maybe a bit too authentic), make some cocoa and add some chile power, some coriander and some cinnamon. It’ll wake up your tastebuds and make you appreciate chocolate even more.
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