Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
It seems almost certain that Olmecs first domesticated the cacao plant, Theobroma cacao, at about 1000 BC. The Olmecs lived in the area of Mexico we currently know as Veracruz and Tabasco. The word ‘cacao’ (originally pronounced kakawa) originates in the proto-Mixe-Zoquean at the very height of the Olmec civilization.
Cacao was later inherited by Mayans and Aztecs who also used cacao shamanistically and ritualistically. There are two broad varities of cacao, Criollo (var. cacao) and Forastero (var. sphaerocarpum), and a hybrid of the two families known as Trinitario. The cacao plant itself originates in Venezuela acc to relatively recent DNA studies