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Cacao and the Columbian Exchange
Transcript of Cacao and the Columbian Exchange
The Cacao Bean
The cocoa bean, also cacao bean or simply cocoa or cacao, is the dried and fully fermented fatty bean of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. They are the basis of chocolate, as well as many Mesoamerican foods such as mole sauce and tejate.
The Cacao Bean
The cacao tree is native to the Americas. It may have originated in the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, current day Colombia and Venezuela, where today, examples of wild cacao still can be found.
A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough and leathery rind about 3 cm (1.2 in) thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod).
The Cacao and Columbus
When Europeans began exploring the New World, Columbus and his crew were the first to encounter cacao when they seized a canoe at Guanaja that was filled with strange 'almonds'.
Eventually it was discovered the 'almonds' were actually cacao beans used as a source of currency in Mesoamerica.
Science confirms chocolate has many favorable qualities that support health and psychological well-being. This magical bean offers great benefits when the cacao is high-quality, raw and organic.
Cacao medicinal properties were noted to alleviate fever, anemia, poor appetite, mental fatigue and poor breast milk production, as well as tuberculosis, gout, kidney stones and low virility.
Wright, Carolanne. "Cacao - An ancient medicine validated by modern science." NaturalNews. N.p., 3 Dec. 2010. Web. 6 May 2014. <http://www.naturalnews.com/030603_cacao_medicine.html#>
"Columbian Exchange." St. Johns Country Day School Heinrich Learning Resource Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2014. <http://www.sjcdslibrary.net/columbian-exchange.html>.
The Columbian Exchange
The Columbian Exchange was the widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations, diseases, technology and ideas between the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Cacao mass contains potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium which contribute to cardiovascular health.
In conclusion... go eat some chocolate!
The all containing Cacao