Hands holding cacao beans with more beans below
Hands holding cacao beans with more beans below
Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

In pre-Colombian America, cacao was highly valued — worshiped by ancient civilizations, often traded for goods. It was believed by Mayan and Aztec cultures to have magical properties and was used in birth and death rituals. If an Aztec sacrifice victim didn’t seem all that into what was happening, they would be given chocolate (mixed with the blood of past victims) to provide some additional energy.

Enter Hernando Cortes, Spanish explorer and soon-to-be conqueror of the Aztecs. Cacao’s bitter taste didn’t immediately appeal to him, but in 1527 when his bloody work was done in the Americas, he brought some…

Nate St. George

I write code, music, and do design work for games and other media.

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