Read About The Maya Mythology That Surrounds Our Favourite Food

Our ears perk up every time we hear the word chocolate, and rightly so, as this is one food item that we love to have at any time of the day. From chocolate bars to chocolate milk to brownies, cakes, puddings and everything that contains chocolate, they all become our favourite. Often referred to as a sinful indulgence, chocolate lovers all over the world get the chance to enjoy it without guilt on July 7 which is marked as World Chocolate Day. Also Read – World Chocolate Day 2020: How This Aphrodisiac Came to be Enjoyed The World Over

Who created World Chocolate Day is not known, but it is believed that July 7 was chosen as the day to mark it because it was when chocolate was first introduced to Europe in the year 1550. The first known celebration of the day took place in 2009. Also Read – Chocolate Mousse Recipe: Here’s How You Can Make Chocolate Mousse at Home

Chocolate, as we know, is created from cacao seeds from the Theobroma tree and have a very intense, bitter taste. The cacao seeds are fermented to bring out the flavour, then dried and roasted and the shell removed to produce cacao nibs. The cacao nibs are then ground into cocoa mass, which is pure chocolate in rough form. Also Read – National Chocolate Pudding Day 2020: All About The Chocolate Pudding And How to Make it at Home

The earliest known use of chocolate has been dated to 450 BC, and as per documentation it was consumed in liquid form by the inhabitants of Mesoamerica, including the Maya and Aztecs.

Maya Legend:

The Mayans believed that the kakaw (cacao) is a gift from the gods to them. As per mythology, the Plumed Serpent, which was a prominent supernatural entity or deity found in Maya religion, gave cacao to the Maya after humans were created from maize by divine grandmother goddess Xmucane. They would hold an annual festival in April in honour of their cacao god, Ek Chuah, and it entailed sacrificing a dog with cacao-colored markings, other animal sacrifices and offerings and an exchange of gifts.

Another legend is that the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl discovered cacao on a mountain that had other edible plants and he shared it with humans. The action led to him being cast away by the other gods.

It seems the cacao beverage was used during rituals only by men, as it was believed to be intoxicating and unsuitable for women and children.

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