Archaeologists discover traces of 2500-year old chocolate

Aug 3, 2012
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Chocolate is one of the most popular sweets snacks all around the world. Some estimates claim that around the world today, about two billion pounds of chocolate is produced each year. Modern man has a definite love for chocolate, and chocolate was a popular drink and food thousands of years goes well. Archaeologists have announced that they found traces of 2500-year-old chocolate on a plate in the Yucatán Peninsula.

Finding the chocolate on a plate is notable because this is the first time archaeologists have found residue on the plate rather than in a cup, suggesting that chocolate could have been used as a condiment or sauce with solid food. Archaeologists and scientists have thought for a long time that pre-Hispanic cultures typically used cacao beans and pods in beverages made by crushing the beans and mixing them with liquid.

Ancient chocolate drinks were also made by fermenting the pulp that surrounds the beads inside the pod. The chocolate drinks are believed to have been reserved for the elite of the ancient society. Finding chocolate residue on a plate leads the scientists to believe that some traditional Mexican dishes served today, such as mole, could have ancient roots. Mole is a chocolate-based sauce typically served with meats.

The archaeologists discovered traces of chemical substances considered markers for chocolate on plate fragments uncovered at an archaeological site in 2001 called Paso del Macho. The plate fragments discovered date to about 500 BC, yet they are not the oldest traces of chocolate found in Mexico. Some beverage vessels have traces of chocolate date back to as much as 1000 years earlier.

[via Telegraph]


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