The various civilizations having taken root in Central America made cacao a highly valued commodity.

 

In the 14th century, Aztecs used cacao beans as currency and carried out bloody wars to gain control over the production and the supply of cacao throughout Central America. 

  

Monteczuma, the Aztec emperor, established laws that  allowed only priests, soldiers and merchants to consume cacao.

 

When Hernan Cortes landed in Mexico, Aztecs welcomed him with the sacred cacao beverage because they mistook him for their missing god, Quetzalcòatl. 

Chocolate is made out of the beans which are inside the pods of the cacao tree.  

 

This tropical tree is about 10 m. tall and grows naturally in the semi-darkness of rain forests. 

Being sensitive to heat, it needs to take refuge in the shade of taller trees and keep clear of direct sunlight. 

 

Around 1800 BC, locals from Soconusco, in the south east of Mexico, were the first to come up with the idea of roasting the beans to turn them into cacao we know nowadays. 

As soon as chocolate was brought in Spain, it became the favorite drink of royal courts across Europe. 

 

Many variations of the original recipe appeared, depending on the available ingredients and most valued spices of the moment.