The Development of Cacao Beverages in Formative Mesoamerica
Cacao was commonly assumed to be originally cultivated for the purpose of producing the kind of drink described in the sixteenth century by fermenting the cacao seeds, drying or toasting them, grinding them and mixing the powdered cacao seeds with water to form a thick and bitter suspension. This chapter looks into the purpose and use of the cacao seeds in the beverage needs of the people of Mesoamerica. In this chapter the different forms of drinking cacao in Mesoamerican culture are discussed and examined. The chapter also discusses the special use of cacao as the main ingredient for the alcoholic beverage of the Mesoamericans, the cacao chicha. The chapter also discusses the social context and meaning that comes with the preparation of the cacao drink. During the Mesoamerican period, cacao preparation was performed to mark a special event.
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