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Love Chocolate?-1000 yrs Ago Native Americans got it from 1,200 Miles Away!

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posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:17 PM
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Well we all love chocolate, there is social reasons, and also physical and chemical ones, also Psychological ones to do with early life, and celebrations such as Christmas and Easter and Birthdays.

In our society chocolate abounds at these times, or when we want to self medicate if feeling low, However I knew the Aztecs prized chocolate and drunk ancient versions of "Hot Cocoa" as such, though with Chillies mixed in!


Image courtesy of Otto Steinnger Displayed on Discover Magazine Here



In Central America, where the plant grows under hot and humid conditions, Prufer noted, the beverage was consumed in wedding rituals, in ceremonies marking a change in social or political status and as an offering when people died, among other uses. Users would pour it from one cylinder to another repeatedly to create a highly desirable froth.


I never realised just how widely prized it was by other cultures also in the past, who went to obviously extraodinary lengths to procure their own ancient fix of love and taste.


Cacao, the staple of Valentine's Day chocolates and hot drinks by a cozy winter fire, made it to the American Southwest by AD 1000, centuries earlier than researchers had believed.

Previous studies had not placed cacao in what is now the United States until after the Spanish conquest of South America in the 15th century.

The nearest source for the cacao, which was made into a bitter beverage used in religious and other rituals, was more than 1,200 miles to the south in Mexico.

The new findings were reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

LA Times

Now why go to such lengths, trading an expensive item from 1,200 miles away, not buying the Maya Gold, or Crystals jade and such like but a perishable thing???



Archaeologist Cameron McNeil, who edited a book on the cultural history of chocolate in Central America, is surprised to find cacao apparently heavily traded in the area of Pueblo Bonito. "This would have been phenomenally expensive" given the sheer length of the trading route, she says. That means that just "as fine wines and brandies advertise the lofty position of individuals in our own culture," drinking chocolate was probably a sign of status for these early Native American communities.

ScienceNow


Well we all know why but to remind everyone it is not just ceremony!



There are chemicals in chocolate that act like THC, resulting in production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter



If anandamide is already in your brain, then why don't you feel happy all the time? Well, anandamide is broken down quickly, so it isn't around long in your brain to make you smile. But chocolate may extend the feelings of well being. Piomelli's research indicates that there are two chemicals in chocolate which inhibit the natural breakdown of anandamide. This may be a reason why we like to eat chocolate! And dark chocolate contains more of these compounds than milk chocolate.


And to add the cherry to the top of the chocolate cake:


Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, a chemical related to amphetamines. Like amphetamines, this chemical causes blood pressure and blood-sugar levels to rise, resulting in a feeling of alertness and contentment. Phenylethylamine has been called the "love-drug" because it quickens your pulse, as if you are in love. Caffeine in chocolate may also cause feelings of alertness and a pounding heart. Other stimulants in chocolate include theobromine and methylxanthines

Chocolate Neuroscience for Kids

Yeah yeah Mr white coat philides, ines, and ides man, but it tastes so good to
as obviously the Aztecs and others concur to!

However one thing does seems to have changed in chocolate use and storage from all those years ago to modern man or mainly Women



What was chocolate doing so far north? In Pueblo Bonito, the cylindrical vases appear at only a few sites and there are not many of them. They also don't show up in burial sites, which means that they probably belonged to the community, says Crown. Drinking chocolate was likely a part of elaborate ceremonies similar to those seen in Mayan culture, she says.

Science Now

As modern Man/Woman seems to have developed squirrel like behaviour with chocolate, and stashing, hiding and emergency supplies seems to be an individual norm these days as opposed to any community sharing at all.

A sign of the rise of the self? Proven in chocolate who would have thought it eh.

Just going to my 3rd drawer, behind my paperwork for that........

If anyone is interested a company is recreating this original Aztec Chocolate in a BEER form
and information is Here

Kind Regards,

Elf




posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:36 PM
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Chocolate is one of the things I can't stand.
I am one of the only ones I know who can't stand it.
Its even in my dislikes on my profile.LOL



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:41 PM
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perhaps the climate allowed the nut or pod to grow further north.
Didn't many of the indians move north too? i.e. originated closer to south america



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by DrumsRfun
Chocolate is one of the things I can't stand.
I am one of the only ones I know who can't stand it.
Its even in my dislikes on my profile.LOL


Wow that is unusual Drums, I mean it is not like Veggy/Marmite, I tend not to eat it much anymore, control the sugar I take in, but I do enjoy it when I do very much


Never thought it would be a dislike on a Profile lol.

Elf.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by matsplat
 


I thought that first but,
No it seems from the same way of mixing it from jar to jar, and also the same type of Jar's used by both cultures that the Aztec's taught the native Americans of Pueblo Bonito the way to prepare it and such like.

Elf



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:46 PM
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reply to post by MischeviousElf
 


I must admit I hide chocolate

There I said it ok!

So did my X-wife and now my new girlfriend does.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by MischeviousElf
 


Yup 2 things I don't like are chocolate and people.LOL
I am the opposite of a sweettooth.
Even I notice how weird that is.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by MischeviousElf
 


I must admit I hide chocolate

There I said it ok!

So did my X-wife and now my new girlfriend does.



Lol I know most people do who like it, especially females.

Well done for the honesty!

I find this nearly as interesting as the rest of the findings here, and not touched on by the official study, as I said in the Op that infact maybe this is a sign of the times, or a behavioural pointer to the difference between then and now, not so much in technology or beliefs,

But that in fact by this research, and the difference between such a prized possession in the past and now, it is indicative of how we have moved from community based cultures to the separate ID/Ego or focus on Me in modern times.

I am not saying to you you are selfish, just it shows a habit many modern people have that seems to have been absent then.

Kind Regards,

Elf

PS I hide it but I am not telling anyone online where in case someone I know well finds out



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 05:08 PM
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Originally posted by DrumsRfun
Chocolate is one of the things I can't stand.
I am one of the only ones I know who can't stand it.
Its even in my dislikes on my profile.LOL


I won't go so far as to say that I can't stand it but I won't cross the street for it.

You are not alone. I am not that big on chocolate either.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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I won't go so far as to say that I can't stand it but I won't cross the street for it.


Why is this thread attracting the non choco lovers lol, well a fair balance anyhow.

Well us choco lovers have history and many cultures behind us, plus one of the biggest impulse buy goods in the world.

I have been thinking about this research more.

Thats a long way to go for the chocolate then, I know people who have got in cars and driven to the garage at 2am to get a fix such as this. Now this to me is a big deal.

But to go 1,200 miles by foot
, obviously many different societies traded along this route/distance one to the other, and I bet there was a Markup on each exchange, each leg of the journey.

Unless the New Mexican native Americans liked it so much they sent years long expeditions.

As said to those who don't like chocolate, history, many cultures do to, and if you dig around the links you will see it was used in parts of the Aztec culture in place of money!

Worth it's weight in Chocolate lol...

Interestingly in the current global financial crisis it is one commodity that will stay level, or rise, as people will be home more, feel down, and wont spend £$1000 on a LCD but a few cents or pence on a Hershi or Mars bar, will become more popular to brighten moods!

Kind Regards,

Elf



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 05:30 PM
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That is one of the stories I use to tell to my students when I use to teach Spanish, the history of cacao.

It was one of my favorites when you tell the kids that the real stuff it only taste good because the amount of sugar is used, but actually is quite bitter.

I love chocolate but now I stick with either very high quality dark is better for your health.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
That is one of the stories I use to tell to my students when I use to teach Spanish, the history of cacao.


The whole history is amazing eh, didn't want to Bog down this into a huge Choco thread lol.



It was one of my favorites when you tell the kids that the real stuff it only taste good because the amount of sugar is used, but actually is quite bitter.


I suppose it is an acquired taste too, most young people dont like the taste of Wine or in the UK we have a type of beer named "Bitter", but soon become to like it through peer pressure, and the feeling it gives you!

I imagine this was the popularity base back in Aztec times a lot of social conditioning, and natural highs.



I love chocolate but now I stick with either very high quality dark is better for your health.


Yep if you are going to eat chocolate need to have good quality stuff Marg without a doubt


I prefer very dark rich chocolate too myself, don't as said have it very often now but I am going to sign of in a moment and and make for the first time in ages, real milk, with organic/fairtrade south American Dark Cocoa whisk it up in a pan, and make like an Aztec as I sleep tonight


Kind Regards,

Elf



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:00 PM
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Many of the methods of chocolate drink production were not sweet

This link speaks about some of them

Link

So valued were the beans that archaeologists have found beans that were hollowed out, filled with sand and sealed with wax.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 07:01 PM
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Originally posted by MischeviousElf
I prefer very dark rich chocolate too myself, don't as said have it very often now but I am going to sign of in a moment and and make for the first time in ages, real milk, with organic/fairtrade south American Dark Cocoa whisk it up in a pan, and make like an Aztec as I sleep tonight


Kind Regards,

Elf


Hey that sounds mighty good
specially here in the south that we are having some frigid weather right now.



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 12:18 AM
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Anyone ever tried the ancient way of drinking chocolate? mixed with chillies??

May be i should try it out.



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by coredrill
 


I had it in Mexico. Firstly I hate coffee. This reminded me of of a similar taste, bitter and the best part was spitting it out. Retchable stuff. However coffee drinkers seem to find it somewhat more acceptable.

The chocolate mixed with corn gruel and any type of sweetern was much better- I could almost drink it.

[edit on 5/2/09 by Hanslune]



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


I am a hardcore coffee addict. I go through at least 5 cups a day in office.



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 01:22 AM
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reply to post by coredrill
 


You might like the stuff. The easy way to get a taste might be to try melting unsweeten chocolate (for cooking) into water and throw a chilli in.

They may sell cocao beans somewhere and you can brew them like coffee.

I knew a strange Confederation guy who liked that.



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by MischeviousElf
 





Why is this thread attracting the non choco lovers lol, well a fair balance anyhow.


I guess it for the same reason that we were drawn to ATS.

I search for understanding?

I will admit that I am indeed in the minority and it is not genetic because my Mom and 8 of my siblings love the stuff. That leaves me and one lone sister that can give it a pass.

Maybe it was caused by the law of survival. While they were fighting over who was going to get the ears off that giant chocolate Easter bunny (they were all solid back then) it gave my sister and I time to pick from the other choice pieces in the basket.

Anyway some of my best friends are chocolate lovers.



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by coredrill
Anyone ever tried the ancient way of drinking chocolate? mixed with chillies??

May be i should try it out.


If you look on the first post coredrill the bottom link contains a European company that is making a beer and type of drink just like the Original!

I might give it go, drunk and in love at the same time lol.

Sounds like the precursor to many mistakes


Elf.




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