A Brief History of Cocoa
There have been many different usages of Cocoa since its discovery by the Aztecs, some of the most notable items that Cocoa has created is hot chocolate, cocoa powder, chocolate bars, cosmetics, and even medicine.
The World of Cocoa Foundation states, “Throughout its centuries-long evolution, one factor has remained consistent and cocoa has attracted devotees worldwide. Today, over 4.5 million tons of cocoa beans are consumed annually around the globe, in everything from drinks to candy bars. It’s safe to say that the ancient Mesoamericans who pioneered the crop could never have imagined the popularity cocoa would someday experience.”
Usage in Latino Households
As I mentioned before, cocoa beans were founded by the Aztecs and they had multiple uses for it.
Magnum cited that the Aztecs used cocoa for, “as currency. They believed that chocolate was a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl, and drank it as a refreshing beverage, an aphrodisiac, and even to prepare for war.”
While many Latinos use cocoa for cooking purposes, many people use the ingredient to create a business. Sisters Janett and Érika Liriano created their own chocolate brand, INARU.
Co-founder Érika Liriano expressed the importance of the company she and her sister have built, “The power to determine your own path is something that all humans should have the right to, and that includes a woman’s power to choose what type of life she wants for herself.”
What Critics have to say about the usage of Cocoa
Cocoa is still being used for pharmaceutical purposes however critics are voicing their views on how this ingredient is both helpful and harmful.
The National Library of Medicine has cited the positive health effects that cocoa provides many individuals, “Several meta-analyses have suggested the benefits of chocolate consumption in reducing the risk of cardiometabolic events including coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, and diabetes. Apart from potential health-promoting cardiometabolic effects, chocolate consumption has also been reported to improve cognition in clinical trials, supported by preclinical studies.”