Mesoamerican Category

For the Love of Chocolate

I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day last weekend, though I expect you celebrated it without the salt-filled, hard-boiled egg of colonial times. It’s far more likely that you gifted or received a box of chocolates, or maybe split a bar of chocolate with a special someone. But where did this association between romance and […]

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Blood and Chocolate

Happy Halloween! Only a few days left until that spookiest of holidays, though how we celebrate today would be very unfamiliar to those used to experiencing a colonial All Hallow’s Eve. But in the spirit (pun intended) of how we celebrate today, we’re going to take a look at the somewhat creepy – even disturbing […]

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Are These Almonds?

In honor of Columbus Day–or Indigenous Peoples’ Day, depending on your location–we are going to reflect back on a classic historical misunderstanding between Christopher Columbus and indigenous Mesoamericans. We have previously remarked on Columbus’s misidentification of red chili pepper as a relative of black pepper, but he didn’t stop there, he also had some issues […]

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Colonial Chocolate Spices: Annatto

Visitors to Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop are often surprised to discover that our colonial drinking chocolate is seasoned with eight different spices. American Heritage Historic Chocolate is flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, chili pepper, anise, orange zest, salt, and annatto, as well as a small amount of sugar. We will be taking a closer […]

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Colonial Chocolate Spices: Chili Pepper

Visitors to Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop are often surprised to discover that our colonial drinking chocolate is seasoned with eight different spices. American Heritage Historic Chocolate is flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, chili pepper, anise, orange zest, salt, and annatto, as well as a small amount of sugar. We will be taking a closer […]

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Drinking Chocolate Instead of Eating Chocolate

When we talk about chocolate today, we typically think of it as a food. That wasn’t always the case. People were enjoying chocolate as a drink for thousands of years before the creation of the first chocolate candy bars that we know and love today. Archeological evidence shows that the people of Central and South […]

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The cacao tree = the source of the world’s most delectable product

Did you know that the cacao tree is the source of all chocolate and that the tree’s botanical name is Theobroma Cacao, which means “food of the gods”? The scientific name was given to the species by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753, when he published it in his famous book Species Plantarum. Theobroma […]

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Did you know? Chocolate consumption dates back 3500 years!

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 […]

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