October 15, 2018

Codex Medoza, c. 1540. Attributed to Francisco Gualpuyogualcal and to Juan González. Transport method of cacao (next to jaguar skins) under the early Aztec Empire. Public Domain, Bodleian Library, Oxford University.

Bartolomé de Las Casas presents a horrific picture of p...

August 1, 2018

Pieter Boudewyn Van Der Aa, Manière dont les habitants de la Nouvelle Espagne préparent le cacao pour le chocolat. Galerie Agréable du Monde. Leiden, 1728. BNF, PET FOL-VX-113

In spite of the masculinity of the preparers of cacao in the above 18th-C image, by all early-...

April 1, 2018

Aztec Methods

1) Grinding chocolate:

 Aztec woman grinding beans (foreground)

Bernardino de Sahagún, The Florentine Codex [Historia general de las cosas de nueva España],

c. 1575,  fol. 69 (verso), Medicea Laurenziana Library, Florence

2) Frothing chocolate:

Aztec Noblewoma...

March 15, 2018

The different ways the cacao tree has been depicted through history — from 16th-century codices to 18th-century botanicals — and what this changing iconography reveals about cacao’s journey into European culture.

March 1, 2018

Mayan Methods

1) Grinding cacao:

Metate, or grinding stone (bottom left-of-center)

Maya, 750–850, Cylinder Vessel with Supernatural Palace Scene and Cacao Tree (rollout photograph), Guatemala, Petén, Motul de San José or vicinity, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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