Did Mayas Use 2,500-Year-Old Chocolate as Condiment or Beverage?
Archaeologists say they have found traces of 2,500-year-old chocolate on a plate in the Yucatan peninsula, the first time they have found ancient chocolate residue on a plate rather than a cup, suggesting it may have been used as a condiment or sauce with solid food.
Experts have long thought cacao beans and pods were mainly used in pre-Hispanic cultures as a beverage, made either by crushing the beans and mixing them with liquids or fermenting the pulp that surrounds the beans in the pod. Such a drink was believed to have been reserved for the elite. But the discovery announced this week by Mexicoâ€™s National Institute of Anthropology and History expands the envelope of how chocolate may have been used in ancient Mexico.