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.
“Notice shall be given by those who make chocolate for private families, and not for sale, three days before it is begun to be made, specifying the quantity, etc., and within three days after it is finished the person for whom it is made shall enter the whole quantity on oath, and have it duly stamped.”

Nothing is more eloquent of the growing favour in which cocoa is held in this country, as its real value becomes more generally appreciated, than the remarkable progressive increase of the quantities imported during recent years, as will be seen from the table appended.  These quantities doubled between 1880 and 1890, and have since more than doubled again.

TABLE SHOWING THE QUANTITIES OF CACAO CLEARED
FOR HOME CONSUMPTION SINCE 1880.

lbs.
1880         10,556,159
1881         10,897,795
1882         11,996,853
1883         12,868,170
1884         13,976,891
1885         14,595,168
1886         15,165,714
1887         15,873,698
1888         18,227,017
1889         18,464,164
1890         20,224,175
1891         21,599,860
1892         20,797,283
1893         20,874,995
1894         22,441,048
1895         24,484,502
1896         24,523,428
1897         27,852,152
1898         32,087,084
1899         34,013,812
1900         37,829,326
1901         42,353,724
1902         45,643,784

FOOTNOTES: 

[18] Not an “Emperor,” as reported by his conquerors.

[19] See Appendix III.

[Illustration—­Colour Plate:  CHART SHOWING THE POSITIONS OF THE PRINCIPAL COCOA PLANTATIONS OF THE WORLD.]

V. ITS SOURCES AND VARIETIES.

[Illustration—­Drawing:  SACKS OF CACAO BEANS.]

Guayaquil, in the republic of Ecuador, on the west coast of South America, produces the largest output in the world.  This cacao has a bold bean and a fine flavour, and is rich in theobromine; it is much valued on the market, and its strength and character render it indispensable to the manufacturer.

The neighbouring countries of Columbia and Venezuela, facing the Caribbean Sea, have for centuries grown cacao of excellent quality.  The criollo (creole) bean is generally used as seed, and for it high prices are obtained.  Owing, however, to the unsettled state of the republics and their unstable governments, its cultivation has gone back rather than forward during the past decade.  With better administration and settled peace, great developments might easily be achieved.  The British Royal Mail Steam Packet Company provides a good fortnightly service to England.

In early times the Jesuit missionaries encouraged the natives to form small plantations on the borders of the river Orinoco, and Father Gumilla, in his “History of the Orinoco,” says:  “I have seen in these plains forests of wild cacao-trees, laden with bunches of pods, supplying food to an infinite multitude of monkeys, squirrels, parrots, and other animals.”

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