All about hot chocolate……
Theobroma cacao is the scientific name of the cacao tree. It mean’s FOOD OF THE GODS! We happen to agree.
Cacao trees flourish near the equator and at low elevation. Cacao originated in South America and has been used as food for at least three thousand years. The Mayans made it famous by crushing cocoa beans and chili peppers then mixing it with water for a drink since there was no sugar in Central America. The beverage became popular in Europe after being introduced from Mexico and has undergone multiple changes since then. Although hot chocolate is generally consumed for pleasure it also has several potential health benefits. A 2003 study from Cornell University found that cocoa contains large amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. It has also been demonstrated paper writing that the cocoa bean helps with digestion. Explorers Francisco Hernandez and Santiago de Valverde Turices wrote that hot chocolate beverages were helpful in treating chest aliments, fevers and liver disease.
Cocoa vs. Cacao? There is some debate over the definition of these terms. Some say cacao applies to the farm origin level, (pods, seeds, trees) and cocoa only comes into play once the bean is fermented, dried and some say roasted. Yet others insist it’s cocoa only if its been finished or powdered. We find more pleasure in drinking it, rather than debating what to call it.