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His son Ferdinand commented that the natives greatly valued the beans, which he termed almonds, "for when they were brought on board ship together with their goods, I observed that when any of these almonds fell, they all stooped to pick it up, as if an eye had fallen." From time to time they served him [Montezuma] in cups of pure gold a certain drink made from cacao.
It was said that it gave one power over women, but this I never saw.
Yet it is a drink very much esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass through their country.
The Spaniards, both men and women that are accustomed to the country are very greedy of this Chocolate.
The consumption of the chocolate drink is also depicted on pre-Hispanic vases.
The Mayans seasoned their chocolate by mixing the roasted cacao seed paste into a drink with water, chile peppers and cornmeal, transferring the mixture repeatedly between pots until the top was covered with a thick foam.
Today, such drinks are also known as "Chilate" and are made by locals in the South of Mexico.
The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom, and the seeds once had so much value that they were used as a form of currency.
Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter, frothy liquid, mixed with spices or corn puree.
They used it in a common beverage consumed by everyone in their society.
Christopher Columbus encountered the cacao bean on his fourth mission to the Americas on August 15, 1502, when he and his crew seized a large native canoe that proved to contain among other goods for trade, cacao beans.
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When pollinated, the seed of the cacao tree eventually forms a kind of sheath, or ear, 20" long, hanging from the tree trunk itself.