HOW TO PREPARE A CACAO ELIXIR?
Using a Milk Frother
Using a Hand Blender
Using a Blender
The tools have changed, but the work of roasting and grinding fermented cacao beans, and mixing them with water to create a vitalizing food is a practice that goes back to early Mesoamerican civilizations. The Aztecs prepared chocolate by pouring the drink high up from one vessel to another, raising the foam of the beverage that was so prized for them.
For thousands of years, chocolate had been sipped, not eaten, since that Mexican Indian first turned cocoa beans into "the food of the gods."
DID YOU KNOW?
The origins of cacao, or chocolate, are traced back in the New World among the Olmec, Maya and Mexica (Aztec), and diffused to Europe in the mid 1500s. The word cacao is derived from Olmec and the subsequent Mayan languages (kakaw); the chocolate-related term Xocolatl is Nahuatl (Aztec language).
Cacao figured into pre-modern Maya society as medicine, as precious food, as a sign of prestige, social centerpiece, and cultural touchstone. In addition to its loftier role in ritual and celebration, cacao also served decidedly material functions, cacao beans were used as currency, and the seeds were so valuable that Aztec rulers accepted cacao as tribute payments.
Cacao grown and consumed by the native people in Chiapas in southern Mexico, is the type of cacao that the Spanish first encountered, and this is the type of cacao that has generally been held in high regard ever since.
Worldwide, three major species variations of Theobroma Cacao are cultivated: Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. The most prized, rare, and expensive is the Criollo group -an ancient variety that produces “fine or flavour” beans, which are the scarcest and most highly regarded for their complex flavor and aroma, arguably less bitter and more aromatic than any other bean.