Guatemala’s the Birth place for Chocolate

Guatemalan Chocolate Ingredients

Did you know that Guatemala is the birthplace for chocolate? If not, read on.

Chocolate AntiguaCocoa bean (also cacao bean,[1] often simply cocoa and cacao; Mayan: kakaw; Nahuatl: cacaua) is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. They are the basis of chocolate, as well as many Mesoamerican foods such as mole sauce and tejate.

A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough leathery rind about 3 cm thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod). It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called ‘baba de cacao’ in South America) enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and white to pale lavender in color. While seeds are usually white, they become violet or reddish brown during the drying process.

The cocoa bean was a common currency throughout Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest.

The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus in his original classification of the plant kingdom, who called it Theobroma (“food of the gods”) cacao. (Source: Wikipedia)

In La Antigua Guatemala we now have some very good chocolaterías (chocolate shops); don’t leave town without paying a visit to Fernando’s Kaffee and Chocolatería Sabe Rico.

© 2011 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Eric

    I think I will just write : “Guatemala is THE place for chocolate.”  Everything from roasted nibs to riquissimo dulces to bebidas, y me encanta todo.  I am so glad I remembered to bring some home.

  • Erick!

    I wonder what the Mayan “Kawkaw” drinks tasted like?  I would assume that they must have been pretty bitter, unless they had some sort of sweetener back then.