In the ancient world, cocoa only existed in its purest form and was known only for its medicinal value. For many centuries this pure form of cocoa was revered by all and trusted for its beneficial use in cases like fever, heart pain, emaciation, fatigue, kidney and bowel complaints. There is historical evidence that points us to the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations who recorded their use of cocoa for medicinal purposes for over 2000 years.
More recently man has tarnished cocoa’s healthy reputation by adding emulsifying fats, sugars, milk, flavorings and preservatives, and introduced processed cocoa to the world. But this was not true of cocoa in the ancient world.
Cocoa’s Ancient Travelogue
The growing of cocoa plants dates back to 1500 BC when it is believed the Olmec Indians grew the cocoa beans as a domestic crop. At around 250 BC to 900 CE the drinking of an unsweetened cocoa drink was prevalent, but only amongst the elite of Mayan society. It was a sophisticated drink even in those days! When the Mayans migrated to the northern parts of South America, they took their cocoa beans with them. This drink was a big hit with the upper class Aztec Indians and they decided to make it their own, imposing a tax on the beans. The Aztecs were the first to call it “xocalatl”, which means warm or bitter liquid.
The famous explorers Columbus and Hernandez encountered the cocoa beans during their travels. Mayan nobles gifted Prince Philip of Spain with jars of beaten cocoa, pre-mixed and ready-to-drink. But neither Spain, nor Portugal shared this gift with the rest of Europe till a century later. In the 16th century, the Spanish began to add sugar cane juice and vanilla flavoring to produce a sweetened cocoa drink, which was more palatable to the taste buds.
Cocoa began to gain wide popularity as a medicinal drink and for its aphrodisiac value. The first cocoa shop in London was set up in 1657. At this time, too, cocoa was considered a beverage only for the elite of society. It was only in 1730 when the price of cocoa dropped that it became affordable to the common man.
In 1765, chocolate was imported to the new “Colonies” by an Irishman named, John Hanan. The beans were imported from the West Indians into Dorchester, Massachusetts, where the first chocolate mill was built in 1780. The chocolates were named after Dr. James Baker who helped in refining the chocolate for a taste similar to the one that we know today. These were known as Baker’s ® Chocolates.
In 1819, François Louis Callier, opened up the first Swiss chocolate factory. In 1828, Conrad Van Houten developed a process in Amsterdam that gave chocolate a smoother consistency by squeezing out some of the cocoa butter and adding alkaline salts. About twenty years later, Joseph Fry & Son developed a process that put some of the cocoa butter back, added sugar and created a smooth paste that could be molded into the first ever, chocolate bar. In 1861, Richard Cadbury created the first Valentine shaped chocolate box for Valentine’s Day forming an irrevocable bond between chocolate and romance. Since then, chocolate makers have been improving on the texture, taste and variations in chocolate for chocolate lovers all over the world. Back to the Historical Use of Cocoa
It was only as recently as 1998 that research studies on cocoa suggested that the historical use of cocoa may be a very healthy path indeed.. Chocolate lovers were thrilled to know that instead of discouraging people from eating chocolate, doctors and scientists were now encouraging the selective consumption of chocolate for its antioxidant strength and for its benefits to heart health! But not all chocolate is equal in its health-imparting properties. From the assortment of chocolates available today, cocoa in its purest form is the best choice. The best choice would be powdered pure cocoa that can be used to make cocoa beverages. The second best choice would be dark, bitter chocolate. Milk chocolate does not contain the high antioxidant strength of dark, bitter chocolate.
CocoPure is one the best blends of pure cocoa powder combined with two more antioxidant-rich nutrients-Resveratrol and Green Tea extracts. The combination of these three ingredients forms a relaxing beverage, hot or cold. Studies on these three nutrients have been published in prominent journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Physiology, Heart and Circulatory Physiology. They note the ability of all three nutrients for supporting cardiovascular health, increased blood flow, arterial health, elevated energy levels, digestion, and the immune system.
Now, centuries later, science has finally caught up with the historical use of pure cocoa. The combination of Pure Cocoa, Resveratrol and Green tea is now available in a delicious beverage that brings the health and sophistication back into cocoa drinking! With just 30 calories per serving, CocoPure makes a great drink for those on a diet as well.
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