The earliest chocolate drink of the New World

The earliest known use of cacao –– the source of our modern day chocolate –– has been pushed back more than 500 years, to somewhere between 1400 and 1100 B.C.E., thanks to new chemical analyses of residues extracted from pottery excavated at an archaeological site at Puerto Escondido in Honduras. The new evidence also indicates that, long before the flavour of the cacao seed (or bean) became popular, it was the sweet pulp of the chocolate fruit, used in making a fermented (5% alcohol) beverage, which first drew attention to the plant in the Americas.

For more details, see the full release at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology website.


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