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Chocolate, a popular and coveted food world over, is often referred to as the food of the gods. This description is not surprising considering that a number of delightful sensations are associated with chocolate. Indeed, chocolate is perceived as a delightful treat, a comfort food, an aphrodisiac, a sensuous experience, a romantic gift, an energizer and a mood enhancer. It is the objective of this paper to explore and discuss the factors that explain the multifaceted aura around chocolates, beginning with an analysis of its history.
I. Chocolate, often called the food of the gods, has always enjoyed a multifaceted aura.
a. Origins as a Mesoamerican beverage
b. Expensive European import
c. Symbol of wealth and social status
III. Production and Marketing
a. Cultivation of cocoa beans
b. Production process
IV. Chocolate as an aphrodisiac
a. Myth and legends
i. Scientific evidence
ii. Psychological effects
V. Types of chocolate
a. Occasions for usage
b. Forms of usage
VI. Health and Nutritional properties
From the Paper:
"However, it appears that the Maya and the Aztecs nevertheless placed a great deal of value on their bitter chocolate beverage, as evidenced by the importance of the role the drink played in their religious and social life. For instance, although chocolate was a favorite beverage of Maya royalty, the common people could consume the drink only on special occasions. The Aztecs went many steps further in turning chocolate into an elitist product, decreeing that only privileged people such as rulers, priests, decorated soldiers, and honored merchants could partake of the brew (Kerr, 2002)."
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