How the Aztecs Prepared Chocolate

Although the earliest use of cacao has been traced to the Maya and Aztecs, the recipes for its preparation have come from Spanish colonizers.

One of the earliest descriptions of the native grinding and drinking of cacao comes from writings published in 1556 by a man known to scholars as the Anonymous Conquerer, apparently an adventurer connected to Hernando Cortés.

These seeds which are called… cacao are ground and made into powder, and other small seeds are ground, and this powder is put into certain basins… and then they put water on it and mix it with a spoon. And after having mixed it very well, they change it from one basin to another, so that a foam is raised which they put in a vessel made for the purpose. And when they wish to drink it, they mix it with certain small spoons of gold or silver or wood, and drink it, and drinking it one must open one’s mouth, because being foam one must give it room to subside, and go down bit by bit.

This drink is the healthiest thing, and the greatest sustenance of anything you could drink in the world, because he who drinks a cup of this liquid, no matter how far he walks, can go a whole day without eating anything else.