Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mayan Chocolate Oh My!

Did you know that chocolate grows on trees? It sounds crazy...crazy good! Our first stop after lunch at the Cockscomb was to the Mayan Cocoa Farm. There we trekked through what was once a citrus grove which, due to the incurable devastation of citrus greening, is slowly transitioning to incorporate more cocoa trees. We learned that chocolate is actually made from the seeds, or beans inside the huge pods. Cocoa trees have been around for centuries, back to the time of the Mayans. In those days, the pods were much smaller. Much unlike the way we eat chocolate now, in the Mesoamerican period the beans were dried, ground, and mixed with hot water and spices to create a frothy (and quite bitter) beverage). A popular belief is that the Mayan people used chocolate as a form of currency, but in all actuality it was used as a trade commodity to barter for useful items such as shells or beads from their neighbors.

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