Tuesday, October 09, 2018

First European discovered cocoa beans

Around 1300 AD, the Toltecs and later the Aztecs established their communities in Mexico. Adopting much of the Toltec tradition and religion, the Aztecs worshipped Queztalcoatl, the feathered god of cocoa. They consumed chocolate mainly as part of their religious ceremonies honoring Queztalcoal.

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and is famous because he found something he wasn't looking for. The fourth of Christopher Columbus left Spain on May 1502.

The first meeting of Western civilization with cocoa occurred: Christopher Columbus reached the island of Guanaja off the coast of Honduras., and he was greeted by natives later received the gift of a cup of chocolate. The natives gave him a sackful of cacao beans in exchange for some of his own merchandise.

Columbus at first, then Cortes, discovered in the Americas the cocoa plant, but only Hernando Cortez brought the seeds to Europe.

The Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez went to America in 1519. He visited the Mexican emperor Montezuma. He saw that Montezuma drank cacao mixed with vanilla and spices. Cortez took some cacao home as a gift to the Spanish King Charles.

Though Hernando Cortez had ventured to Mexico in search of gold, he was impressed by the fact that the Aztecs used cocoa beans as currency. Cortez had started the first cocoa plantations on Trinidad, Haiti, and the West African island of Bioko to grow “money” to trade with Aztecs for gold.

Starting from 1660, the drinking of hot sweet chocolate spreaded across Europe: Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, and also Austria and Italy.
First European discovered cocoa beans
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