[Sca-cooks] Pepper in chocolates
t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Mon Aug 27 22:57:22 PDT 2007
Cacao is naturally occurring in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins along
the eastern Andean foothills and may have had a range as far north as
southeastern Mexico. While there is no direct evidence, it is believed that
the Olmec harvested and used cacao and that the practice was adopted by the
Mayans and later the Aztecs. Since we know that the Aztec added chili
pepper to their chocolate, I would say that that would constitute chocolate
with pepper in the northern hemisphere and is probably where it originated.
Modernly, I've never encountered such chocolate.
I'm uncertain of the range of the Mapuche, but there is evidence of cacao
being traded to the Inca and it may be that cacao was also traded into
Chile. I suspect that pepper in chocolate is a Mayan (if not an Olmec)
preparation and that its use by other than Mesoamerican tribes may be
indicative of pre-Columbian trade.
I should also point out that I can't rule out the Conquistadors as an avenue
of introduction of chocolate and pepper to the Mapuche, although a more
knowledgeable person might be able to do so.
> Does that mean that we have from Aztecs to the Mapuches (Chilean
> native Indians) adding pepper to chocolate? Do we have chocolate with
> pepper in the northern hemisphere too? It sounds really odd to me.
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