By Liam Corr i The Conversation.
Chocolate in all its forms is something that I, along with many others like to indulge in on an almost daily basis. But chocolate as it’s enjoyed today is quite different from when it first arrived in Europe from South America around the 16th century.
To the indigenous Aztec people, cocoa was consumed as a drink and held great cultural and medicinal significance. It was almost viewed as a panacea that could cure various ailments, including fever, diarrhoea, fatigue, angina and tooth decay.
The Aztec belief that cocoa was a divine elixir was probably due to the notion that it was a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of wind and wisdom. Perhaps this is why Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus named the plant Theobroma cacao, from the ancient Greek words “theos” meaning god and “broma” meaning food – “food of the gods”.
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