Friday, April 19, 2019

Next Time You Drink Cocoa, Thank Quetzalcoatl

Cocoa is my favorite drink. I use to drink it everyday like coffee, but then I was hit with a bout of emergency room kidney stones and at some point, I was told chocolate could have been a contributor to that. Is that true? Anyways, I slowed my cocoa drinking down, but many ultrasounds later, I discovered I still had a stone in my right kidney. It seemed quitting cocoa drinking didn't really help much. I then decided I was just going to keep drinking cocoa when I felt like it. I needed to live a little. I started drinking cocoa again this last winter when it got uncharacteristically cold in Southern, California. Now it's spring and the weather is still not warm enough for me (I only fully function at approximate 85 degrees but it's been in the 70s mostly) so I am STILL drinking hot cocoa. I heat up some milk; add some honey and one tablespoon of Hershey's Cocoa. "100% Cacao" is what it says on the container. "What is Cacao exactly?" and "Is that good for me?" I Googled. Turns out it does have health benefits! Cacao comes from a tree. A cacao tree spouts these large oval-shaped pods (very space alien-like) and inside the pods are cacao beans. These beans are ground up and components of that create cocoa powder. But, here's the really good part. As I was googling, I was completely taken back, when very nonchalantly on the Internet; the history of the cacao plant involves ancient aliens! YES, many, many years ago in Mesoamerica, specifically what is Mexico today, there was a group of people known as the Toltecs (or Olmecs, the dates are never precise). They were going about life as best they could when all of a sudden a flash of light comes from the Sun, floats down to Earth and out pops Quetzalcoatl. In other words, he landed his spaceship on Earth. Quetzalcoatl was described as looking like a serpent but also with some colorful feathers like a parrot and that was how he was given his name, which literally means, "feathered serpent" in the Nahuatl or Aztec language. He must have looked like a very colorful reptilian. Even though the people were frightened at first, they soon discovered that Quetzalcoatl had come to help them. He had great knowledge and supernatural powers. He taught them many things including the arts and nutrition! The people did so well in learning from Quetzalcoatl that he decided to treat them with his favorite drink from his home planet of Venus. Arrangements were made and Quetzalcoatl planted the first cacao trees on Earth. He taught the people how to make the cocoa drink. This rich history was documented by the Toltec people and many years after, was taught and worshiped by the Aztecs and the Mayans. These cultures also got to enjoy the drink of the Gods. When the Spaniards came to Mesoamerica they were introduced to cocoa and the amazing cacao tree. The Spaniards decided to add cocoa to milk with honey and this is the recipe I drink today! They took the treat back to Europe and it was a hit. I'm embarrassed to admit I had no idea that cocoa originated in the jungles of Mexico. I thought it was from Europe because it's so popular there. Germany, Spain and France go crazy with chocolate delicacies. But, it's from Mexico. No wonder I'm hooked on it. My DNA has 19% Native American, Northern Michoacán from my Grandfather. Michoacán is located only 4 hours from Tula de Allende where the Toltecs lived. It is literally engraved in my DNA to drink cocoa; a gift from the gods. Raise your mug and cheers to Quetzalcoatl!

Temple of Quetzalcoatl 

Artist depiction of Quetzalcoatl.
Please give credit if you know the artist and I will update.

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