Essay on The Columbian Exchange: Chocolate

660 Words3 Pages
The Columbian Exchange: Chocolate During the time frame of 1450-1750, the Columbian Exchange was at its height of power and influence. Many products were introduced from foreign lands, like animals such as cattle, chickens, and horse, and agriculture such as potatoes, bananas, and avocados. Diseases also became widespread and persisted to distant lands where it wreaked devastation upon the non-immunized people. One such influential product during this time period was the cacao, or more commonly known as chocolate. First discovered and used in the Americas, cacao beans quickly traveled to and became a popular treat in European lands. It was valuable in the New World and even used as a currency by the Aztecs. Only the rich and privileged…show more content…
Despite not being a major crop, chocolate was a popular novelty as it was brought to other lands. After Columbus’s voyage to the Americas in 1492, he took back to Spain to present the King and Queen not just riches, but also new products that weren’t available in Europe. He took back to Spain the practice of drinking chocolate mixed with heavy spices. For nearly 100 years after the Spaniards were introduced to chocolatl, the coveted drink of the New World inhabitants, they kept the secret of its production to themselves. In the same years as Shakespeare wrote his final plays, the missionary and theologian José de Acosta wrote about cocoa from Lima, Peru, saying, “It is so much esteemed among the Indians that it is one of the richest and the greatest traffickes of New Spain” (Liu; Pelletier, CDA’s World History Wiki). After a century, Spain lost its monopoly on the European chocolate market. By the mid-1600s, the drink made from the little brown beans had gained widespread popularity in France. In Europe, chocolate (as a drink) gained popularity as the production of the beans became more popular. More of the lower and middle class were able to afford it, and it was considered a great treat to have. In terms of economic impact, the cacao had been a boon for the
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