The word Chocolate comes from the Aztec word "xocolatl" meaning
"bitter water" is the edible product of the tropical cocoa bean, cacao (means "food of
Cacao played important role in Mayan, Toltec, and Aztec culture. Cacoa
beans were used both as food and form of payment.
Some scholars say Columbus brought cacao beans back to Spain, but it
wasn't until Hernan Cortes returned to Spain in 1527 or 1528 with usage
tips from the Aztecs (as in how to mix it with other ingredients to make a
beverage) that it found any real use in Europe.
Knowledge remained in Spain
for about 100 years before spreading through
Europe then moved into Africa around 1822. Currently the largest cacao
producing countries are Africa (larger quantities, for industrial uses)
and South America (higher quality) originally consumed in the form of a
beverage; first chocolate "bar" in 1847 in England.
Different types available
include: unsweetened, bittersweet, dark, milk, and white; also cocoa
products such as cocoa powder
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