How chocolate evolved.
Chocolate, as we know it today, first appeared in the form of “bitter water” known as xocoatl during the Mayan civilization as early as the sixth century. The word “chocolate” is derived from this very Mayan word. Cocoa trees are said to have originated in the Amazon some 4000 years ago and the Mayans were the first to cultivate them. The Aztecs, however, believed cocoa plants were brought down from heaven by their god Quetzalcoatl in 1200 A. D.
In the Mayan and Aztec cultures, cocoa was the basic for xocoatl- a thick, unsweetened drink believed to be a health elixir. Spices such as hot chilli pepper and corn meal were used to add flavour to the drink, as sugar was unknown to the Mayans and Aztecs. Aztec emperor, Montezuma, used to drink 50 goblets of thick chocolate everyday for its nourishing and aphrodisiac qualities.
In 1528, Hernando de Oviedo y Valdez inspired the making of chocolate in its current sweet form when he presented Spanish King Charles V with cocoa beans and the necessary tools for its preparation. The Spaniards mixed the beans with sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and cinnamon to create tantalizing, fashionable chocolates. These chocolates were reserved for the nobility only.
It was in 1643 that chocolate took on a new role; Spanish Princess Maria Theresa gave her fiancé, Louis XIV of France an engagement gift of chocolate. Ever since, chocolate was the preferred girt for it was a luxury as well as an aphrodisiac.
this article taken from a booklet. however, i forgot where i ‘ve taken from.