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The True History of Chocolate

Sophie D. Coe & Michael D. Coe

October 29, 2007


 
This delightful and best-selling tale of one of the world's favorite foods draws upon botany, archaeology, and culinary history to present a complete and accurate history of chocolate.

The story begins some 3,000 years ago in the jungles of Mexico and Central America with the chocolate tree, Theobroma Cacao, and the complex processes necessary to transform its bitter seeds into what is now known as chocolate. This was centuries before chocolate was consumed in generally unsweetened liquid form and used as currency by the Maya, and the Aztecs after them. The Spanish conquest of Central America introduced chocolate to Europe, where it first became the drink of kings and aristocrats and then was popularized in coffeehouses. Industrialization in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries made chocolate a food for the masses, and now, in our own time, it has become once again a luxury item.
      
Chris's Notes*