The Food of the Gods eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about The Food of the Gods.
to the dividing machine (20), and cut into pieces of the desired size and weight.  On the table (21) the moulds, lying upon boards, are filled with chocolate and then taken to the shaking-table (22).  By means of a double lift (23) the moulded chocolate, still lying upon boards, is conveyed to the cooling-room or cellar, in which there are benches or frames (24) for receiving the moulds as they are slipped off the boards.  The cellar has to be cooled artificially, according to situation.  Adjoining the cellar is the wrapping-room (25), and further on the warehouse.  The goods so far finished are then taken by the lift (1) to the rooms where they are packed for delivery.


[13] For ancient processes see Appendix I., p. 103.

[14] “Chocolate is an article so disguised in the manufacture that it is impossible to tell its purity or value.  The only safeguard is to buy that which bears the name of a reputable maker.”—­Chambers, “Manual of Diet.”

[15] The heart-leaved bixa, or anotta.

[16] Log-wood.

[17] The regulations adopted are so interesting that a place has been found for them in an Appendix (p. 106).



Although now cultivated in many other tropical countries, the cacao tree is one of the New World’s rich gifts, first made known to our ancestors by the venturesome Spaniards, who probably became acquainted with its cultivation early in the sixteenth century, and spread the knowledge derived from the Mexicans and the inhabitants of Central America to their other colonies.  They found cacao a more veritable mine of wealth than even the gold of which they procured such store.  It is indeed a curious coincidence that in those countries of gold the cacao-beans were not only the form in which tribute was paid, but themselves passed as currency.  On account of their use for this purpose by the Mexicans, Peter Martyr styled them amygdalae pecuniariae—­“pecuniary almonds”—­exclaiming:  “Blessed money, which exempts its possessors from avarice, since it cannot be hoarded or hidden underground!”

Joseph Acosta tells us that “the Indians used no gold nor silver to trafficke in or buy withall ... and unto this day (1604) the custom continues amongst the Indians, as in the province of Mexico, instede of money they use cacao.”  The Aztecs also made use of cacao in this way, as many as 8,000 beans being legal tender—­rather a task, one would imagine, for the money-changers.

[Illustration—­Black and White Plate:  Native Americans Preparing and Cooking Cocoa. Ogibe’s “America,” 1671.]

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The Food of the Gods from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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