Wednesday, March 11, 2009
A Little Chocolate History
"Cylindrical clay jars found in the ruins of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico were unlike any other pottery found there, and anthropologists had long puzzled over how they were used. Now the mystery may be solved: The jars apparently were used for drinking chocolate, like the Maya of Central and South America did as far back as 1000 A.D. A chemist for the Hershey chocolate company tested the pottery and found traces of theobromine, a biological marker for cacao, from which chocolate is made. That would make the Chacoans-1,200 miles from the nearest cacao trees- the first consumers of chocolate in North America. Their chocolate arrived via a 3,100-mile trade route that extended to New Mexico from as far south as Ecuador and Colombia, where cacoa is grown."