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History and Origins

Mayan ArtThe story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins more than 2,000 years ago in equatorial Central America where the Mayan Indians held cocoa beans in high regard.

Images of cocoa pods were carved into the walls of their elaborate stone temples, and Mayan writings refer to cacao as "food of the gods." It was the Mayans who first created a beverage from crushed cocoa beans which was enjoyed by royalty and shared at sacred ceremonies. Like the earlier Mayans, the Aztecs also drank the unsweetened beverage during special ceremonies.

It was until the 1500s that Europeans were introduced to the wonders of chocolate and more than 300 years beyond that before the first solid eating chocolate was introduced.

Learn more about the history and development of this wonderfully rich and delicious food.