Cacao is endemic to the lands of the Maya , who were the first to take the seeds of the fruit and roast them to make hot chocolate . The ancient Maya didn’t make candy bars , nor did they add sugar and milk to the cacao . Instead they took their chocolate as a ceremonial elixir and a savory mood enhancer .
For the Maya , cacao was a sacred gift of the gods , and cacao beans were used as currency . Ek Chuah , the Maya god of merchants and trade , was also the patron of the cacao crop . When the Spanish invaded Maya lands in the 1500s , they adopted the beverage , adding sugar and milk to make it sweet and creamy . To learn more about cacao and taste chocolate , visit the Ecomuseo del Cacao in the Puuc region of Yucatán , www.ecomuseodelcacao.com .
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