Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. The various types of sugar are derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose and galactose. "Table sugar" or "granulated sugar" refers to a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. In the body, sucrose is hydrolysed into glucose. Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants, but sucrose is concentrated in sugarcane and sugar beet, making them ideal for efficient commercial extraction to make refined sugar. Sugarcane originated in tropical Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, is known of from before 6,000 BP, sugar beet was first described in writing by Olivier de Serres and originated in southwestern and Southeast Europe along the Atlantic coasts and the Mediterranean Sea, in North Africa, Macaronesia, to Western Asia. In 2016, the combined world production of those two crops was about two billion tonnes. Other disaccharides include lactose. Longer chains of sugar molecules are called polysaccharides.
Some other chemical substances, such as glycerol and sugar alcohols, may have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugar. Sucrose is used in prepared foods, is sometimes added to commercially available beverages, may be used by people as a sweetener for foods and beverages; the average person consumes about 24 kilograms of sugar each year, or 33.1 kilograms in developed countries, equivalent to over 260 food calories per day. As sugar consumption grew in the latter part of the 20th century, researchers began to examine whether a diet high in sugar refined sugar, was damaging to human health. Excessive consumption of sugar has been implicated in the onset of obesity, cardiovascular disease and tooth decay. Numerous studies have tried to clarify those implications, but with varying results because of the difficulty of finding populations for use as controls that consume little or no sugar. In 2015, the World Health Organization recommended that adults and children reduce their intake of free sugars to less than 10%, encouraged a reduction to below 5%, of their total energy intake.
The etymology reflects the spread of the commodity. From Sanskrit शर्करा, meaning "ground or candied sugar," "grit, gravel", came Persian shakar, whence Arabic سكر, whence Medieval Latin succarum, whence 12th-century French sucre, whence the English word sugar. Italian zucchero, Spanish azúcar, Portuguese açúcar came directly from Arabic, the Spanish and Portuguese words retaining the Arabic definite article; the earliest Greek word attested is σάκχαρις. The English word jaggery, a coarse brown sugar made from date palm sap or sugarcane juice, has a similar etymological origin: Portuguese jágara from the Malayalam ചക്കരാ, itself from the Sanskrit शर्करा. Sugar has been produced in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times and its cultivation spread from there into modern-day Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass, it was not plentiful or cheap in early times, in most parts of the world, honey was more used for sweetening. People chewed raw sugarcane to extract its sweetness. Sugarcane was a native of Southeast Asia.
Different species seem to have originated from different locations with Saccharum barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea. One of the earliest historical references to sugarcane is in Chinese manuscripts dating to 8th century BCE, which state that the use of sugarcane originated in India. In the tradition of Indian medicine, the sugarcane is known by the name Ikṣu and the sugarcane juice is known as Phāṇita, its varieties and characterics are defined in nighaṇṭus such as the Bhāvaprakāśa. Sugar remained unimportant until the Indians discovered methods of turning sugarcane juice into granulated crystals that were easier to store and to transport. Crystallized sugar was discovered by the time of the Imperial Guptas, around the 5th century CE. In the local Indian language, these crystals were called khanda, the source of the word candy. Indian sailors, who carried clarified butter and sugar as supplies, introduced knowledge of sugar along the various trade routes they travelled.
Traveling Buddhist monks took sugar crystallization methods to China. During the reign of Harsha in North India, Indian envoys in Tang China taught methods of cultivating sugarcane after Emperor Taizong of Tang made known his interest in sugar. China established its first sugarcane plantations in the seventh century. Chinese documents confirm at least two missions to India, initiated in 647 CE, to obtain technology for sugar refining. In the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and China, sugar became a staple of cooking and desserts. Nearchus, admiral of Alexander of Macedonia, knew of sugar during the year 325 B. C. because of his participation in the campaign of India led by Alexander. The Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides in the 1st century CE described sugar in his medical treatise De Materia Medica, Pliny the Elder, a 1st-century CE Roman, described sugar in his Natural History: "Sugar is made in Arabia as well, but Indian sugar is better, it is a kind of honey found in cane, white as gum, it crunches between the teeth.
It comes in lumps the size of a hazelnut. Sugar is used only for medical purposes." Crusaders brought sugar back to Europe after their campaigns in the Hol
Flour is a powder made by grinding raw grains, beans, |nuts or seeds. It is used to make many different foods. Cereal flour is the main ingredient of bread, a staple food for most cultures. Wheat flour is one of the most important ingredients in Oceanic, South American, North American, Middle Eastern, North Indian and North African cultures, is the defining ingredient in their styles of breads and pastries. Wheat is the most common base for flour. Corn flour has been important in Mesoamerican cuisine since ancient times and remains a staple in the Americas. Rye flour is a constituent of bread in central Europe. Cereal flour consists either of the endosperm and bran together or of the endosperm alone. Meal is either differentiable from flour as having coarser particle size or is synonymous with flour. For example, the word cornmeal connotes a grittier texture whereas corn flour connotes fine powder, although there is no codified dividing line; the English word "flour" is a variant of the word "flower" and both words derive from the Old French fleur or flour, which had the literal meaning "blossom", a figurative meaning "the finest".
The phrase "fleur de farine" meant "the finest part of the meal", since flour resulted from the elimination of coarse and unwanted matter from the grain during milling. The earliest archaeological evidence for wheat seeds crushed between simple millstones to make flour dates to 6000 BC; the Romans were the first to grind seeds on cone mills. In 1879, at the beginning of the Industrial Era, the first steam mill was erected in London. In the 1930s, some flour began to be enriched with iron, niacin and riboflavin. In the 1940s, mills started to enrich flour and folic acid was added to the list in the 1990s. An important problem of the industrial revolution was the preservation of flour. Transportation distances and a slow distribution system collided with natural shelf life; the reason for the limited shelf life is the fatty acids of the germ, which react from the moment they are exposed to oxygen. This occurs. Depending on climate and grain quality, this process takes six to nine months. In the late 19th century, this process was too short for an industrial production and distribution cycle.
As vitamins and amino acids were or unknown in the late 19th century, removing the germ was an effective solution. Without the germ, flour cannot become rancid. Degermed flour became standard. Degermation started in densely populated areas and took one generation to reach the countryside. Heat-processed flour is flour where the germ is first separated from the endosperm and bran processed with steam, dry heat or microwave and blended into flour again; the FDA has been advised by several cookie dough manufacturers that they have implemented the use of heat-treated flour for their "ready-to-bake cookie dough" products to reduce the risk of E. coli bacterial contamination. Milling of flour is accomplished by grinding grain between stones or steel wheels. Today, "stone-ground" means that the grain has been ground in a mill in which a revolving stone wheel turns over a stationary stone wheel, vertically or horizontally with the grain in between. Roller mills soon replaced stone grist mills as the production of flour has driven technological development, as attempts to make gristmills more productive and less labor-intensive led to the watermill and windmill.
These terms are now applied more broadly to uses of water and wind power for purposes other than milling. More the Unifine mill, an impact-type mill, was developed in the mid-20th century. Home users have begun grinding their own flour from organic wheat berries on a variety of electric flour mills; the grinding process is not much different from grinding coffee but the mills are larger. This provides fresh flour with the benefits of wheat fiber without spoilage. Modern farm equipment allows livestock farmers to do some or all of their own milling when it comes time to convert their own grain crops to coarse meal for livestock feed; this capability is economically important because the profit margins are thin enough in commercial farming that saving expenses is vital to staying in business. Flour contains a high proportion of starches, which are a subset of complex carbohydrates known as polysaccharides; the kinds of flour used in cooking include all-purpose flour, self-rising flour, cake flour including bleached flour.
The higher the protein content the harder and stronger the flour, the more it will produce crusty or chewy breads. The lower the protein the softer the flour, better for cakes and pie crusts. "Bleached flour" is any refined flour with a whitening agent added. "Refined flour" has had the germ and bran removed and is referred to as "white flour". Bleached flour is artificially aged using a maturing agent, or both. A bleaching agent would affect only the carotenoids in the flour. A maturing agent may either weaken gluten development; the four most common additives used as bleaching/maturing agents in the US are: Potassium bromate, listed as an ingredient, is a maturing agent that strengthens gluten development. It does not bleach. Benzoyl peroxide does not act as a maturing agent, it has no effect on gluten. Ascorbic acid is listed as an ingredient, either as an indication that the flour was matured using ascorbic acid or that a small amount is
James I of Aragon
James I the Conqueror was King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, Lord of Montpellier from 1213 to 1276. His long reign—the longest of any Iberian monarch—saw the expansion of the House of Aragon and House of Barcelona in three directions: Languedoc to the north, the Balearic Islands to the southeast, Valencia to the south. By a treaty with Louis IX of France, he wrested the County of Barcelona from nominal French suzerainty and integrated it into his crown, he renounced northward expansion and taking back the once Catalan territories in Occitania and vassal counties loyal to the County of Barcelona, lands that were lost by his father Peter II of Aragon in the Battle of Muret during the Albigensian Crusade and annexed by the Kingdom of France, decided to turn south. His great part in the Reconquista was similar in Mediterranean Spain to that of his contemporary Ferdinand III of Castile in Andalusia. One of the main reasons for this formal renunciation of most of the once Catalan territories in Languedoc and Occitania and any expansion into them is the fact that he was raised by the Knights Templar crusaders, who had defeated his father fighting for the Pope alongside the French, so it was forbidden for him to try to maintain the traditional influence of the Count of Barcelona that existed in Occitania and Languedoc.
As a legislator and organiser, he occupies a high place among the European kings. James compiled the Llibre del Consolat de Mar, which governed maritime trade and helped establish Aragonese supremacy in the western Mediterranean, he was an important figure in the development of the Catalan language, sponsoring Catalan literature and writing a quasi-autobiographical chronicle of his reign: the Llibre dels fets. James was born at Montpellier as the only son of Peter II of Marie of Montpellier; as a child, James was made a pawn in the power politics of Provence, where his father was engaged in struggles helping the Cathar heretics of Albi against the Albigensian Crusaders led by Simon IV de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who were trying to exterminate them. Peter endeavoured to placate the northern crusaders by arranging a marriage between his son James and Simon's daughter, when the former was only two years old, he entrusted the boy to be educated in Montfort's care in 1211, but was soon forced to take up arms against him, dying at the Battle of Muret on 12 September 1213.
Montfort would willingly have used James as a means of extending his own power had not the Aragonese appealed to Pope Innocent III, who insisted that Montfort surrender him. James was handed over to the papal legate Peter of Benevento at Carcassonne in May or June 1214. James was sent to Monzón, where he was entrusted to the care of Guillem de Montredó, the head of the Knights Templar in Spain and Provence; the kingdom was given over to confusion until, in 1217, the Templars and some of the more loyal nobles brought the young king to Zaragoza. In 1221, he was married to daughter of Alfonso VIII of Castile; the next six years of his reign were full of rebellions on the part of the nobles. By the Peace of Alcalá of 31 March 1227, the nobles and the king came to terms. In 1228, James faced the sternest opposition yet from a vassal. Guerau IV de Cabrera occupied the County of Urgell in opposition to Aurembiax, the heiress of Ermengol VIII, who had died without sons in 1208. Although Aurembiax's mother, had made herself a protegée of James's father, upon her death in 1220 Guerau occupied the county and displaced Aurembiax, claiming that a woman could not inherit.
James intervened to whom he owed protection. He bought Guerau off and allowed Aurembiax to reclaim her territory, which she did at Lleida also becoming one of James' earliest mistresses, she agreed to hold Urgell in fief for him. On her death in 1231, James exchanged the Balearic Islands for Urgell with her widower, Peter of Portugal. From 1230 to 1232, James negotiated with Sancho VII of Navarre, who desired his help against his nephew and closest living male relative, Theobald IV of Champagne. James and Sancho negotiated a treaty whereby James would inherit Navarre on the old Sancho's death, but when this occurred in 1234, the Navarrese nobles elevated Theobald to the throne instead, James disputed it. Pope Gregory IX was required to intervene. In the end, James accepted Theobald's succession. James endeavoured to form a state straddling the Pyrenees in order to counterbalance the power of France north of the Loire; as with the much earlier Visigothic attempt, this policy was victim to physical and political obstacles.
As in the case of Navarre, he declined to launch into perilous adventures. By the Treaty of Corbeil, signed in May 1258, he ended his conflict with Louis IX of France, securing the renunciation of French claims to sovereignty over Catalonia. After his false start at uniting Aragon with the Kingdom of Navarre through a scheme of mutual adoption, James turned to the south and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. On 5 September 1229, the troops from Aragon, consisting of 155 ships, 1,500 horsemen and 15,000 soldiers, set sail from Tarragona and Cambrils to conquer Majorca from Abú Yahya, the semi-independent Almohad governor of the island. Although a group of Aragonese knights took part in the campaign because of their obligations to the king, the conquest of Majorca was a Catalan undertaking, Catalans would make up the majority of Majorca's settlers. James conquered Majorca on 31 December 1229, Menorca and Ibi
Puff pastry known as pâte feuilletée, is a flaky light pastry made from a laminated dough composed of dough and butter or other solid fat. The butter is put inside the dough, making a paton, folded and rolled out before baking; the gaps that form between the layers left by the fat melting are pushed by the water turning into steam during the baking process. Puff pastry seems to be related to the Middle Eastern phyllo, is used in a similar manner to create layered pastries. While traditionally ascribed to the French painter and cook Claude Lorrain who lived in the 17th century, references to puff pastry appear before the 17th century, indicating a history that came through Muslim Spain and was converted from thin sheets of dough spread with olive oil to laminated dough with layers of butter; the first known recipe of modern puff pastry, appears in the Spanish recipe book Libro del arte de cozina written by Domingo Hernández de Maceras and published in 1607. Maceras, the head cook in one of the colleges of the University of Salamanca distinguished between filled puff pastry recipes and puff pastry tarts, mentions leavened preparations.
Thus, puff pastry appears to have had widespread use in Spain by the beginning of the 17th century. The first French recipe of puff pastry was published in François Pierre La Varenne's "Pastissier françois" in 1653; the production of puff pastry dough can be time-consuming, because it must be kept at a temperature of 16 °C to keep shortening from becoming runny, must rest in between folds to allow gluten strands time to link up and thus retain layering. The number of layers in puff pastry is calculated with the formula: l = n where l is the number of finished layers, f the number of folds in a single folding move, n is how many times the folding move is repeated. For example, twice-folding, repeated four times gives 4 = 81 layers. Chef Julia Child recommends 73 layers for regular pâte feuilletée and 729 layers for pâte feuilletée fine. Commercially made puff pastry is available in grocery stores. Common types of fat used include butter, vegetable shortenings, lard. Butter is the most common type used because it provides superior mouthfeel.
Shortenings and lard have a higher melting point therefore puff pastry made with either will rise more than pastry made with butter, if made correctly. Puff pastry made in this manner will however have a waxy mouthfeel and more bland flavor. Specialized margarine formulated for high plasticity is used for industrial production of puff pastry. Since the process of making puff pastry is laborious and time-intensive, faster recipes are common: known as "blitz", "rough puff", or "flaky pastry". Many of these recipes combine the butter into the détrempe rather than adding it in the folding process and are thus similar to a folded short crust. Puff pastry can be leavened with baker's yeast to create croissants, Danish pastry, Spanish/Portuguese milhoja, or empanadilla. Puff pastry differs from phyllo pastry, though puff pastry can be substituted for phyllo in some applications. Phyllo dough is made with flour and fat and is stretched to size rather than rolled; when preparing phyllo dough, a small amount of oil or melted fat is brushed on one layer of dough and is topped with another layer, a process repeated as as desired.
When the phyllo bakes it becomes crispy but, since it contains somewhat less water, does not expand to the same degree as puff pastry. Puff pastry differs from Austrian strudel dough, or Strudelteig, which more resembles phyllo. List of butter dishes List of pastries Rustico Preparing Puff Pastry
Helianthus or sunflower is a genus of plants comprising about 70 species. Except for three species in South America, all Helianthus species are native to North America; the common name, "sunflower" refers to the popular annual species Helianthus annuus, or the common sunflower, whose round flower heads in combination with the ligules look like the sun. This and other species, notably Jerusalem artichoke, are cultivated in temperate regions and some tropical regions as food crops for humans and poultry, as ornamental plants; the species H. annuus grows during the summer and into early fall, with the peak growth season being mid-summer. Perennial sunflower species are not as common in garden use due to their tendency to spread and become invasive; the whorled sunflower, Helianthus verticillatus, was listed as an endangered species in 2014 when the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule protecting it under the Endangered Species Act; the primary threats are industrial forestry and pine plantations in Alabama and Tennessee.
They grow to 1.8 m and are found in woodlands, adjacent to creeks and moist, prairie-like areas. Sunflowers are tall annual or perennial plants that in some species can grow to a height of 300 cm or more, they bear one or more wide, terminal capitula, with bright yellow ray florets at the outside and yellow or maroon disc florets inside. Several ornamental cultivars of H. annuus have red-colored ray florets. During growth, sunflowers stop once they begin blooming; this tracking of the sun in young sunflower heads is called heliotropism. By the time they are mature, sunflowers face east; the rough and hairy stem is branched in the upper part in wild plants but is unbranched in domesticated cultivars. The petiolate leaves are dentate and sticky; the lower leaves are opposite, ovate, or heart-shaped. They are distinguished technically by the fact that the ray florets are sterile, by the presence on the disk flowers of a pappus, of two awn-like scales that are caducous; some species have additional shorter scales in the pappus, one species lacks a pappus entirely.
Another technical feature that distinguishes the genus more reliably, but requires a microscope to see, is the presence of a prominent, multicellular appendage at the apex of the style. Quite a bit of variability is seen among the perennial species that make up the bulk of those in the genus; some have most or all of the large leaves in a rosette at the base of the plant and produce a flowering stem that has leaves that are reduced in size. Most of the perennials have disk flowers that are yellow, but a few have disk flowers with reddish lobes. One species, H. radula, lacks ray flowers altogether. Helianthus species are used as food plants by the larvae of many lepidopterans; the seeds of H. annuus are used as human food. The Journal of Environmental Management has analyzed the impact of various nitrogen-based fertilizers on the growth of sunflowers. In the Province of Siena, farmers attempted to reduce dependence on petroleum by using different forms of nitrogen fertilizer to better manage the fertilizers’ influence on sunflower growth.
Ammonium nitrate was found to produce better nitrogen absorption than urea, which performed better in low-temperature areas. In Brazil, a unique system of production called the soybean-sunflower system is used: sunflowers are planted first, soybean crops follow, reducing idle periods and increasing total sunflower production and profitability. Sunflowers are planted in the extreme southern or northern regions of the country. In the southern regions, sunflowers are grown in the beginning of rainy seasons, soybeans can be planted in the summer. Researchers have concluded that the soybean-sunflower method of plantation could be further improved through changes in fertilizer use; the current method has been shown to have positive environmental impacts. Ukraine and Russia were top sunflower producers of the world in 2017, they contributed half of the sunflower seed production globally, 23 MMT altogether. Accepted species Formerly includedFlourensia thurifera DC. Helianthella quinquenervis A. Gray Helianthella uniflora var. uniflora Pappobolus imbaburensis Panero Viguiera procumbens S.
F. Blake The growth of a sunflower depends on its genetic makeup and background. Additionally, the season it is planted will have effects on its development. Sunflower development is classified by a series of vegetative stages and reproductive stages that can be determined by identifying the heads or main branch of a single head or branched head Some diseases cause discoloration. Spiral in the sunflower Fermat's spiral Phyllotaxis Stegocintractia junci
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain. It is the fourth most populous autonomous community after Andalusia and Madrid with more than 4.9 million inhabitants. Its homonymous capital Valencia is metropolitan area in Spain, it is located along the Mediterranean coast on the east side of the Iberian peninsula. It borders with Catalonia to the north and Castilla–La Mancha to the west, Murcia to the south; the Valencian Community consists of three provinces which are Valencia and Alicante. According to its Statute of Autonomy, the Valencian people are a nationality, their origins date back to the Aragonese reconquest of the Moorish Taifa of Valencia, taken by James I of Aragon in 1238 during the Reconquista. The newly founded Kingdom of Valencia was granted wide self-government under the Crown of Aragon. Valencia experienced its golden age in the 15th century. Self-government continued after the unification of the Spanish Kingdom, but was suspended in 1707 by Phillip V of Spain as a result of the Spanish War of Succession.
Valencian nationalism resurged towards the end of the 19th century, which led to the modern conception of the Valencian Country. Self-government under the Generalitat Valenciana was reestablished in 1982 after Spanish transition to democracy. Many Valencian people speak Valencian, the region's own co-official language, a southwestern dialect of Catalan standardised by the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua. Valencian is a diglossic language, repressed during Franco's dictatorship in favour of Spanish. Since it regained official status in 1982 in the Valencian Estatut d'Autonomia. Valencian has been implemented in public administration and the education system leading to an exponential increase in knowledge of its formal standard. Valencian is understood by more than half of the population living within the Valencian Community. Valencia was founded by the Romans under the name of "Valentia Edetanorum", which translates to'Valiance of the Land of the Lamb'. With the establishment of the Taifa of Valencia, the name developed to بلنسية, which became Valencia after the expulsion of the Moors.
"Valencian Community" is the standard translation of the official name in Valencian recognized by the Statute of Autonomy of 1982. This is the name most used in public administration, the media and Spanish written language. However, the variant of "Valencian Country" that emphasizes the nationality status of the Valencian people is still the preferred one by left-wing parties, civil associations, Catalan written language and major academic institutions like the University of Valencia. "Valencian Community" is a neologism, adopted after democratic transition in order to solve the conflict between two competing names: "Valencian Country" and "Former Kingdom of Valencia". On one hand, "Valencian Country" represented the modern conception of nationality that resurged in the 19th century, it became well-established during the Second Spanish Republic and on with the works of Joan Fuster in the 1960s, implying the existence of the "Catalan Countries". This nationalist subtext was opposed by anti-Catalan blaverists, who proposed "Former Kingdom of Valencia" instead in order to emphasize Valencian independence from Catalonia.
Blaverists have accepted the official denomination. The autonomous community can be homonymously identified with its capital "Valencia". However, this could be disregarding of the provinces of Castellón. Other more anecdotal translations have included "Land of Valencia", "Region of Valencia" and "Valencian Region"; the term "Region", carries negative connotations among many Valencians because it could deny their nationality status. The Pre-Roman autochthonous people of the Valencian Community were the Iberians, who were divided in several groups; the Greeks established colonies in the coastal towns of Saguntum and Dénia beginning in the 5th century BC, where they traded and mixed with the local Iberian populations. After the end of the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome in 241 BC, which established their limits of influence in the Ebro river, the Carthaginians occupied the whole region; the dispute over the hegemony of Saguntum, a Hellenized Iberian coastal city with diplomatic contacts with Rome, destroyed by Hannibal in 219 BC, ignited the Second Punic War, which ended with the incorporation of the region to the Roman Empire.
The Romans founded the city of Valentia in 138 BC, over the centuries overtook Saguntum in importance. After the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the Barbarian Invasions in the 5th century AD, the region was first invaded by the Alans and ruled by the Visigoths, until the arrival of the Arabs in 711, which left a broad impact in the region, still visible in today's Valencian landscape and culture. After the fall of the Caliphate of Cordoba, two main independent taifas were established at the region, Balansiya and Dénia, along with the small and short living taifas of Orihuela, Alpuente, Jérica and Sagunt and the short Christian conquest of Valencia by El Cid. However, the origins of present-day Valencia date back to the Kingdom of Valencia, which came into existence in the 13th century. James I of Aragon led the Christian conquest and colonization of the existing Islamic taifas with Aragonese and Catalan colonizers in 1208; the kingdom developed intensively in the 14th and 15th centuries, which are con
Hot chocolate known as drinking chocolate, as chocolate tea in Nigeria, is a heated drink consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, a sweetener. Hot chocolate may be topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. Hot chocolate made with melted chocolate is sometimes called drinking chocolate, characterized by less sweetness and a thicker consistency; the first chocolate drink is believed to have been created by the Mayans around 2,500-3,000 years ago, a cocoa drink was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD, by which they referred to as xocōlātl. The drink became popular in Europe after being introduced from Mexico in the New World and has undergone multiple changes since then; until the 19th century, hot chocolate was used medicinally to treat ailments such as liver and stomach diseases. Hot chocolate is consumed throughout the world and comes in multiple variations, including the spiced chocolate para mesa of Latin America, the thick cioccolata calda served in Italy and chocolate a la taza served in Spain, the thinner hot cocoa consumed in the United States.
Prepared hot chocolate can be purchased from a range of establishments, including cafeterias, fast food restaurants and teahouses. Powdered hot chocolate mixes, which can be added to boiling water or hot milk to make the drink at home, are sold at grocery stores and online. Arachaelogists have found evidence that Mayan chocolate consumption occurred as early as 500 BC, there is speculation that chocolate predates the Mayans. To make the chocolate drink, served cold, the Maya ground cocoa seeds into a paste and mixed it with water, chili peppers, other ingredients, they poured the drink back and forth from a cup to a pot until a thick foam developed. Chocolate was available to Maya of all social classes, although the wealthy drank chocolate from "large spouted vessels" that were buried with elites. An early Classic period Mayan tomb from the site of Rio Azul, had vessels with the Maya glyph for cacao on them with residue of a chocolate drink; because sugar was yet to come to the Americas, xocōlātl was said to be an acquired taste.
What the Spaniards called xocōlātl was said to be a drink consisting of a chocolate base flavored with vanilla and other spices, served cold. The drink tasted bitter as opposed to sweetened modern hot chocolate; as to when xocōlātl was first served hot, sources conflict on when and by whom. However, Jose de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary who lived in Peru and Mexico in the 16th century, described xocōlātl as: Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth, unpleasant taste, yet it is a drink much esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass through their country. The Spaniards, both men and women, that are accustomed to the country, are greedy of this Chocolate, they say they make diverse sorts of it, some hot, some cold, some temperate, put therein much of that "chili". Within Mesoamerica many drinks were made from cacao beans, further enhanced by ﬂowers like vanilla to add flavor; this was a tribute to the Aztecs. The Aztecs, or Mexica, required conquered people to provide them with chocolate.
Cups, cacao beans, as well as others things they acquired were listed in The Essential Codex Mendoza. Cacao became used as a currency throughout Mesoamerica; the Aztecs used chocolate to show high status: it was a bad omen for someone low or common to drink chocolate. Europeans' first recorded contact with chocolate wasn't until 1502 on Columbus's fourth voyage. After defeating Montezuma's warriors and demanding that the Aztec nobles hand over their valuables, Cortés returned to Spain in 1528, bringing cocoa beans and chocolate drink making equipment with them. At this time, chocolate still only existed in the bitter drink invented by the Mayas. Sweet hot chocolate and bar chocolate were yet to be invented. After its introduction to Europe, the drink gained popularity; the court of King Charles V soon adopted the drink, what was only known as "chocolate" became a fashionable drink popular with the Spanish upper class. Additionally, cocoa was given as a dowry when members of the Spanish Royal Family married other European aristocrats.
At the time, chocolate was expensive in Europe because the cocoa beans only grew in South America. Sweet-tasting hot chocolate was invented, leading hot chocolate to become a luxury item among the European nobility by the 17th century; when the first Chocolate House opened in 1657, chocolate was still expensive, costing 50 to 75 pence a pound. At the time, hot chocolate was mixed with spices for flavor. In the late 17th century, Hans Sloane, president of the Royal College of Physicians, visited Jamaica. There, he tried chocolate and considered it "nauseous", but found it became more palatable when mixed with milk; when he returned to England, he brought the recipe with him. The aristocratic nature of the drink led to chocolate being referred to as "the drink of the gods" in 1797; the Spanish began to use jicaras made of porcelain in place of the hollowed gourds used by the natives. They further tinkered with the recipes by using spices such as cinnamon, black pepper and sesame. Many of these things were used to try to recreate the flavor of the native flowers which they could not ea