Mexico might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of chocolate, but this global sweet treat comes from a tree native to the tropical regions of Latin America. The fruit of these trees is the cacao pod which is where we get one of the world’s favorite sweet treats. Here’s a quick look at the history of chocolate in Mexico.
Chocolate Wasn’t Always A Dessert
It is estimated that cacao trees have been growing since at least 450BC. Ancient Aztecs and Mayas ground cacao beans to use in cold beverages, for medicinal purposes, and as part of spiritual ceremonies. It was such an honored and valued spice that it was considered a gift from god. Cacao beans could be traded as currency. In ancient times it cost 100 beans for a canoe!
While cacao has been around for centuries the modern chocolate we know and love was developed after Spain introduced Mexican cacao to Europe. This is when it transitioned from a granular spice to a creamy sweet treat. Different regions of the world are known for how they cultivate chocolate into decedent powders, bars, truffles, pastries, and other desserts. Even tasty hot chocolate and chocolate liquors!
Mexican chocolate has a distinct and delicious flavor and is used for savory red and black moles, creamy chocolates, and bars with higher than usual cacao content. Chocolate bars are often blended with regional herbs and spices—but don’t worry there are plenty of sweet chocolates treats to choose from.
Join Us For A Food Tour To Learn More!
Become A Local In 3 Hours with Vallarta Food Tours! One of the stops along the way our Downtown Food Tour is the Vallarta Chocolate Factory. Choose from traditional round chocolate bars, Mexican hot chocolate, and decadent truffles and treats. Stock up, to take some Mexican chocolate home with you or to give to your friends as gifts.
Here’s to tasting all the regional flavors you can during your Puerto Vallarta vacation!