The Discovery of the Cocoa Bean

Jan 25th 2017

     Have you ever found a new flavor of chocolate that you've never tasted before and got so excited at your new discovery? That's probably how excited the Olmecs got when they discovered the cocoa bean. 

Historians believe that the Olmecs were the first to discover that the cocoa bean was edible. The Olmecs would take the cocoa bean, crush it up, mix it with water, and add spices, chillies and herbs. Think of it as the first hot cocoa mix. 

Over time, the Maayans and Aztecs learned how to farm cocoa trees as well. When it was first discovered, the cocoa bean was used as a monetary unit and as a measuring unit, 400 beans equalling a Zontli and 8000 equalling a Xiquipilli. During their wars with the Aztecs and the Mayans, the Chimimeken people's preferred method of levying taxes in conquered regions was in the form of cocoa beans.

Read more: http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treesandmarkets/i...