9) The history of cocoa is prolonged by 500
Recent studies carried
out by several American universities have shown that cocoa was used in the
preparation of fermented drinks between 1100 and 1000 years before JC.
Indeed, chemical tests carried out on
pottery found in Puerto Escondido in Honduras showed that they contained cocoa.
Research scientists think however that the
drinks were fermented, probably made from the pulp of fruit.
They base their opinion on the shape of
the vases (see illustration) which prevents air from being blown in and thereby
creating the froth that was so greatly appreciated by the Mayas and the Aztecs.
Moreover there is evidence to support this observation from the absence of bees'
wax, which is characteristic where honey has been used, and of capsaicin, a
compound of pepper; both honey and pepper being classic compounds used by the
Mayas and the Aztecs to concoct their chocolate drink.