4 Things You Might Not Know About Hot Chocolate Chocolate
Chocolate in its hot beverage form is wonderful and you can get one of the best tasting hot chocolates direct from your UKVending drinks machine. So we thought we’d have a look at some of the most surprising and interesting facts about hot chocolate, here are four of the best things we discovered.
It’s a lot older than you think. In fact hot chocolate dates back thousands of years to the Olmec civilisation of southern Mexico. Historians have established that they were the first to collect and then roast the fruit of the cacao tree. What made them then grind the roasted fruit into a powder and then mix with water we’ll never really know. How do historians know this, well archaeologists discovered trace amounts of chocolate in Olmec pottery that has been carbon dated to around 1700 BCE.
Today we expect our hot chocolate to be hot and sweet, it hasn’t always been that way. The Olmecs and the Aztecs used to flavour their drinks with chillies, water and toasted corn. The Spanish as they conquered South America and Mexico took the old drink, known locally as xocoatl and added spices such as cinnamon and sugar. But don’t think this made it look or taste anything like modern day hot chocolate.
Even back in ancient times’ hot chocolate was thought to possess medicinal properties. The caffeine that was found naturally in the cacao beans provided a jolt of energy and was seen as recuperative. It was also thought to be useful for Aztec warriors ahead of battles. The Aztec King Montezuma II was so fond of the drink that he was said to drink 50 cups each and every day. Perhaps because of this it soon gained a reputation as an aphrodisiac.
In ancient times’ hot chocolate crossed swords with religion. Religious leaders debated whether or not hot chocolate was a drink or food and whether it should be shunned during times of religious fasting throughout the 16th and 17th It was finally decided that it was a drink and it could be drunk all year round. It had only taken years to debate and the will of Pope Gregory XIII to decide this.