Thursday, 15 March 2012

Chocolate- The Nectar for the Gods

Chocolate fan? I mean hard-core chocolate lover who loves everything from shampoo to coins coated in chocolate? Then you’ve got to read this! Let’s see how well you know about the one thing other than money that makes this world go around.
 If you’re a chocoholic then wouldn’t you love a world made of chocolate? Keeping aside the craze for it in today’s era, did you know that there was a time when chocolate overruled money itself? It all began when the Mayan’s stumbled upon xocolatl, which means bitter drink or otherwise known as the “Nectar for the Gods” The cocoa beans were even used as currency in Latin America till the 19th century. Imagine if you had to buy a shirt and give away just seven coca beans for the trade…quite valuable right? Maybe too valuable for some clever person came up with the idea of counterfeiting the beans from clay (Seems like frauds learnt before repeating history with fake notes from paper today). It was also used in religious rituals often taking the place of blood for the God of Chocolate (chocoholics get ready to patronize)…Qnetzalcot’l. And it just didn’t stop there.
In marriage ceremonies, chocolate was exchanged between the bride and the groom, an old fashioned form of dowry now-a-days. How I wish that was the case now?! After that, the Aztec conquered the Mayans and found a way to make money from the cocoa beans. They imposed tax on the plantations and preferred the drink cold. Since then, only the rich would drink chocolate in golden goblets. It became a status symbol soon after that as only the Gods were deemed fit to drink Chocolate. The Aztec emperors would be buried with jars and jars of chocolate as it was clearly the treasure that they wanted to take along with them to the other side. Eras rolled and the Cortez conquered the Aztec. At the same time they captured the Caribbean islands. And on that island was sugar.
            Then man did what he does best, he mixed the two and voila!- the first solid chocolate was born! Then they started molding it into different shapes and then those pretty shiny wrappers came and caught everyone’s eye. In Spain it was used to cure fevers, for digestion and as a pain reliever… the person just had to know which chocolate to use that’s all and it became a wonder drug. Now the whole world is so crazy behind it that a 100 year old bar of chocolate was auctioned off in France for 470 franks! Diamonds are named after chocolate; movies are made where the sole star is chocolate. And check this out- A Palestinian was poisoned with Belgian chocolate. What a great way to die right? Sigh. Chocolate. No I mean seriously, the chocolate that quivers your taste buds. Say whatever…other things are just food. But chocolate is a standard of its own… its CHOCOLATE!

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