Chocolate found on 2,500-year-old plate
2012-08-03 0:00

From: IrishTimes.com

Archaeologists say they have found traces of 2,500-year-old chocolate on a plate in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico in a breakthrough suggesting it may have been used as a condiment or sauce with solid food.

It is the first time they have found ancient chocolate residue on a plate, rather than a cup.

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 Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History expands the envelope of how chocolate may have been used in ancient Mexico.

It would also suggest that there may be ancient roots for traditional dishes eaten in today’s Mexico, such as mole, the chocolate-based sauce often served with meats.

“This is the first time it has been found on a plate used for serving food,” archaeologist Tomas Gallareta said. “It is unlikely that it was ground there (on the plate), because for that they probably used metates (grinding stones).”

The traces of chemical substances considered “markers” for chocolate were found on fragments of plates uncovered at the Paso del Macho archaeological site in Yucatan in 2001.

The fragments were later subjected to tests with the help of experts at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, as part of a joint project. The tests revealed a “ratio of theobromine and caffeine compounds that provide a strong indicator of cacao usage”, according to a statement by the university.

“These are certainly interesting results,” John Henderson, a Cornell University professor of Anthropology and one of the foremost experts on ancient chocolate, said.

Prof Henderson, who was not involved in the Paso del Macho project, said “the presence of cacao residues on plates is even more interesting ... the important thing is that it was on flat serving vessels and so presented or served in some other way than as a beverage”.

“I think their inference that cacao was being used in a sauce is likely correct, though I can imagine other possibilities,” he added, citing possibilities like “addition to a beverage (cacao-based or other) as a condiment or garnish”.

The plate fragments date to about 500 BC and are not the oldest chocolate traces found in Mexico. Beverage vessels found in excavations of Gulf coast sites of the Olmec culture, to the west of the Yucatan, and other sites in Chiapas, to the south, have yielded traces around 1,000 years older.

But it does extend the roots of Mexican cuisine, and the importance of chocolate, further back into the past.

“This indicates that the pre-Hispanic Maya may have eaten foods with cacao sauce, similar to mole,” the anthropology institute said.


Article from: irishtimes.com





Related Articles
’Death by chocolate’ plot to kill Sir Winston Churchill
The World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture - Ancient Mayan Temple (weighs 18,000 lbs)
Boat made of chocolate (Video)
’Green racing car’ powered by chocolate ready to race


Latest News from our Front Page

White Women Are Getting Fed Up
2015-09-03 23:09
We are sick and tired of having our countries ruined, seeing our folk demoralized, and being hated and blamed for all of the worlds problems. We are speaking out, and standing up for our people. We will not let this continue. Let’s get this video trending on Twitter with #Whitewomenarefedup, and get this video to go viral! ... Read ...
Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration
2015-09-03 22:54
Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, will not be allowed to voice their concerns in a protest march on Monday, 31st of August. “We will not allow the expression of intolerance and hatred to be something that is characteristic of Serbia” said Stefanovic. “The Ministry ...
Iran Commander: We're Getting Prepared to Overthrow Israel
2015-09-03 22:51
As the White House secured their last needed vote to block a veto override in the Senate on the nuclear deal, Iran unleashed a double-pronged attack: vowing to block inspector access to some sites, and vowing to continue preparations to destroy Israel. Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said today that the International Atomic Energy Agency — which inked confidential ...
Jailed for Not Marrying the Gays
2015-09-03 21:21
Five of six deputies in the office of a Kentucky county clerk taken into custody Thursday for her refusal to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court allowed gays to wed say they will process the paperwork starting Friday. But Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, whom U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning found in contempt of court, said through her lawyers that she will not authorize ...
German Government Evict Poor Germans From Their Homes For Migrant Asylum Seekers
2015-09-03 2:40
This is a video of a report on replacement of poor Germans with Middle Eastern asylum seekers. This was made broudcasted on a German Left-leaning TV station on August 28, 2015. It's original title: The most poor of the poor have to vacate their homes for asylum seekers. Source: youtube.com
More News »