Honduran Chocolates – Indulgences from the Birthplace of Chocolates
When it comes to the origin of chocolate, defining its exact birthplace has been a subject of debate. What region first discovered the wonderful and exquisite pleasures of the cacao plant? Which culture is responsible for spreading these marvelous delicacies throughout the world? While experts agree that the cacao plant is indeed endemic to the Americas, the precise origins and cultivation of the original chocolates has been a subject of debate. But thanks to science, the matter appears to have been finally settled.
Guanaja – The Honduran Bay Island Where It All Began
As the song describes, “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” But when it comes to chocolate, the real discovery wasn’t until 1502. In search of water to quench his thirst, Columbus came upon the bay island of Guanaja, which is part of Honduras. It was there that the Paya Indians introduced Columbus to the cacao plant. At the time, cacao was mixed with hot peppers as a bitter drink called Xocoati. This marked the first time anyone from Europe had experienced what would eventually become a worldwide passion.
The Paya Indians can be certain to have cultivated cacao in Honduras over 5 centuries ago. However, science now shows cacao existed in the region for a much longer period of time. Interestingly, residues of cacao can be found in ancient relics dating back to 1100 B.C. Thus, the cacao plant was actually part of Honduran culture for a much longer period of time. The cacao pods, which contain a whitish pulp surrounding the cacao seeds, were used as cups. And the pulp itself was used to create fermented beer. It was much later that the chocolate-producing cacao seeds would be fully appreciated for their value.
Cacao’s Journey - From Religion, To Medicine, To Indulgent Delight
The evolution of chocolate over the centuries has been quite profound. For the ancient Hondurans, the bitter drink was part of religious ceremonies at the time. Similarly, the Toltecs and Aztecs also incorporated bitter chocolate drinks into their religious practices. The Mayans believed cacao had both nutritional and medicinal value. In fact, they used cacao as part of their currency exchange to barter goods. Compared to today, cacao seems to have had humble beginnings.
It wasn’t until the late 16 th century before the sweet, delicious chocolate we deeply crave today evolved. Spanish monks, after nearly a century after Spanish explorers brought cacao from Honduras to Spain, combined cacao with vanilla, honey and cane sugar to diminish the cacao’s natural bitterness. Within a decade, chocolate was recognized throughout Europe for the treasure it was. From this perspective, one might say cacao has offered spiritual experiences to many throughout its long history, one way or another.
The Honduras Chocolate Company - Embracing Cacao’s Honduran Heritage
At the Honduras Chocolate Company, we honor the true history of the cacao plant. We cultivate relationships with native Honduran farmers and support their farms. Their knowledge of the soil and cacao plant has been passed down for generations and represents the ancient cacao heritage endemic to Honduras. That is why Honduras Chocolate Company chocolates are the best in the world! What better way to bring forth the natural and exquisite flavors that the cacao seed has to offer than by honoring time-proven traditions?
By acknowledging that different Honduran soils and climates produce different cacao flavors, a variety of distinct chocolate flavors can be created. Likewise, by relying on Honduran insights from centuries of cultivation, we consistently produce the highest quality chocolates. Not only do we take advantage of the fact that the cacao plant naturally prefers the rainforests of Honduras, but we respect the skills and expertise of Honduran farmers as well. In this way, we truly honor cacao’s heritage in providing the most decadent chocolate pleasures in the world.
Experience the Honduran Cacao Experience for Yourself
The chocolate offerings at the Honduras Chocolate Company boast the best quality and tastes in the world. Our expertise, experience, and commitment to providing you the absolute best chocolates is why we consistently have customers coming back time and time again. In addition, we have a number of chocolates that have unique flavors based on their cacao percentages. Depending on your select taste and preference, each offers an exquisite and indulgent chocolate experience. If you have never treated yourself to a Honduras Chocolate Company chocolate, then you owe it to yourself to try one. The experience is sure to please while also convincing you why Honduras is indeed the origin of chocolate.