Chocolate Gifts

Written by Robert Mac
Bookmark and Share

Chocolate gifts are a favorite for children and adults . . . and have been for centuries. Ever since chocolate was first processed in Central America more than 2,000 years ago, it's been an ideal gift for special occasions--especially romantic ones. While still the most popular present for Valentine's Day, chocolate gifts are also appropriate for graduations, anniversaries, and a number of holidays.

Chocolate Gifts Go Back Thousands of Years

The history of chocolate is as rich and complex as chocolate itself. Ancient Mesoamericans didn't just find a chocolate plant and make candy bars; it took years of trial and error before they discovered a way to turn cacao beans into chocolate. Mayan art depicts and even celebrates cacao, the plant from which chocolate is derived; it obviously played an important role in their society.

Chocolate gifts are so highly valued because of the work it takes to extract the chocolate from the cacao plant, which was even more labor intensive generations ago. First, the Mayans would gather cacao pods from the nearby rainforest. (This was before Mayans starting planting cacao in their own backyards.)

Next, they'd cut open the pods, remove the seeds and ferment them. Afterwards, only the properly fermented seeds were dried and then roasted. After shelling the roasted cacao, they ground the nut meats into a thick paste, which they mixed with water and other spices to make a spicy drink. Like wine and other foods that require multiple steps to make, chocolate is revered because of the work--and passion--that goes into making it.

Bookmark and Share