For thousands of years before the Spanish Conquest of the New World, the Mesoamerican peoples were drinking chocolate. Chocolate, as a beverage, was enjoyed by all social classes, especially the warriors and the nobility. It was also used as part of most religious ceremonies. It’s thought that the Olmec were the first to domesticate the cacao tree. In 1987, two Olmec pottery vessels unearthed in Guatemala, which dated back to 500AD, contained traces of cacao.
But it was the Mayans who developed chocolate making into a high art. From the glyphs and painted scenes on Mayan pots, we learn that Mayan people not only drank chocolate but also used the cacao beans as a form a currency.
The Aztec also treasured their chocolate beverage. In fact, Aztec merchants were known to travel long distances to trade and barter for their cacao.
While the Mayans and Aztecs both enjoyed their drinking chocolate, each had a slightly different idea on how to prepare it. The Mayans served their chocolate drink heated and warm, while the Aztec drank theirs cold. However, both cultures enjoyed a beverage that was prepared by pouring the liquid chocolate between two pots. This created a highly sought-after and rich foam. In ancient times, a women’s status in her village was actually based on the amount of foam she could produce!
Here we have a 16th century watercolor of a high ranking Aztec Woman pouring chocolate to create that delicious chocolate foam. This is just another reason to try our American Heritage Chocolate Drink served at Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop and taste our chocolate beverage as the Mesoamericans would have enjoyed it: rich and foamy.
From the Hearth of Captain Newark Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop
Your Humble Servant,
Mrs. Newark Jackson (Amey)