A Xocolatl-Ode

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The chocolate country

There are some days, that deserve to be drowned at birth and everyone sent back to bed with a hot brandy a box of chocolates and warm energetic companion, today is definitely one of those days, for today is the International chocolate day, an observance that occurs globally every year. Celebration includes consumption of chocolate; it is believed that this year marks the 466th year since chocolate was introduced to Europe.

Lets face it, all that one needs is love, of course a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt, or to be precise goes a long way.

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food of Gods

Sometime back, I was at Starbucks, awaiting a friend, I was enjoying a chocolately cafe mocha, when I remembered reading somewhere, that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World, from the Spanish exploration of Aztec Cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, and the lifestyle marketing of Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention and consumerism served with whipped cream on top.

There was a time when good behaviour or eating your breakfast on time followed with a bribe of chocolate, but today, breakfast is chocolate, we could begin the day with chocolate and end it with hot chocolate. A social scientist conducted an experiment where he showed a picture of chocolate cake with chocolate cake written on it, and asked the viewers to immediate word association. Majority of Americans came up with guilt, while Frenchmen came up with celebration.

The official name of chocolate is Theobroma cacao and Theobroma actually means food for the Gods. This flowering plant from the mallow family Malvaceae contains roughly 20 species of small understory trees native to the rain forests of central and south America.

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Quetzalcoatl- the wisdom God who gave the world chocolate

The history of chocolate begins in Mesoamerica, where fermented beverages made from chocolate existed right back in 1900 B.C..  The Mayans began harvesting chocolate in 900AD. The word chocolate comes from the Mayan word Xocolatl which translates to bitter water, which a was liquid made from cocoa beans, chilli pepper and water, the Mayans did not use sugar as there was no sugar in central America. This liquid was poured from one cup to the other  until a frothy foam appeared on the top.

these seeds were believed to be the gift of Quetzalcoatl the God of wisdom and the seeds were considered so valuable they were used as currency.

The exchange rate was

4 beans= 1 pumpkin.

10 beans = a rabbit, it could also get you a lady to stay overnight.

The xocolatl pronounced as show-co-la-til is made by removing the cocoa beans from the pod, fermenting it, and drying it. This is then roasted on a griddle until done, it then shelled and the seeds are ground to a fine paste. The paste is mixed with water, chilli peppers and cornmeal the resulting concoction is poured back and forth until frothy foam develops on top. This is then served in finely decorated earthen ware.

Xocolatl was the frothy drink of its day, like coffee today, and it would available all over the place, it was popular because of its healing properties. Cacao has great nutritional value, a lot of protein which strengthens a person and without sugar it is not fattening.

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When the Aztecs conquered the Mayans the Mayans had to pay tribute to the Aztecs with cocoa so that they would always have the cocoa, cocoa soon became the force of the Aztec economy.

Chocolates symbolizes as does no other food luxury, comfort, sensuality gratification and love.

How chocolates help the tough going https://parwatisingari.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/serio-non-serius/

Here is my favourite chocolate dish — https://parwatisingari.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/theobroma/

Here is a favourite movie of mine that revolves round chocolate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolat_(2000_film)

5 Replies to “A Xocolatl-Ode”

  1. Chocolates are my all time favorite ! As per my knowledge, chocolate contains theobromine, which, in fact, considered toxic if ingested in large quantities. It is also a reason why chocolate manufacturers usually provide serving size (or max servings per pack) on chocolates. However, it is not a concern as long as we eat chocolates in small quantities (say 50-100gms a day) 🙂

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