The Aztecs would turn over in their graves if they knew that their precious, spiced, bitter, sacred “Drink of Gods” is today mixed with sugar, milk, and vanilla; and sold in any grocery store and gas station.
As I looked at various ancient tools for cleaning, fermenting, and preparing cocoa pods and beans, I could not help but wonder how the aztecs first got to performing the laborious process of picking, cleaning, fermenting two times, drying, and roasting the cocoa beans? Why did they not just satisfy themselves with the sweet pulp of the pod, spitting out the beans? Or perhaps somebody spit out the beans and left them to ferment and then dry and then his or her children ate them by mistake and found them delicious? Or perhaps their god appeared to a priest in a dream and told him how to make cacahuatl?And who first spilled sugar and milk into a drink that was served prepared in water; hot, spicy, and bitter? How did the drink of warriors, priests, and men requiring strength become the consoler of lonely women sitting by their televisions?
Perhaps the chocolate man in the Chocolate Story museum in Bruges knows the delicious history of this delicacy. Because why otherwise would he try to eat up himself?(Bruges, Belgium; December 2016)