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Chocolate in Mesoamerica: A Cultural History of Cacao (Maya Studies) Hardcover – January 28, 2007
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"A monumental contribution to the study of a plant food of basic importance from pre-Columbian times to the present in the Americas and now the world.... It will be the baseline for studies of chocolate in the Americas and the world for the foreseeable future. -- Rene Millon
University of Rochester
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Top Customer Reviews
The volume Chocolate in Mesoamerica: A Cultural History of Cacao is divided into four parts: Part I explores the origins of cacao, how was it domesticated, its chemical properties, it biogeography and identification of and its close relatives in other regions of the Neotropics. In Part II, archaeologists, art historians, linguists, and epigraphers document the pre-Columbian uses and importance of cacao how it was consumed and by whom, a truly multidisciplinary perspective. Some contributions explore how cacao became interwoven with later Spanish diet and culture, eventually spreading into the cuisines of most of Europe and the rest of the world. In Part III, ethnohistorians and archaeologists sixteenth-century documents to provide an understanding of the role of the colonial Spanish governments in altering the cultivation practices and consumption of cacao among indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. Some contributors document the incorporation of cacao into Spanish cuisine. In Part IV, archaeologists, ethnobotanists, and ethnographers record the many uses of cacao and how its continued to be cultivated by Mesoamerican communities in the present. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of Chocolate and its role in the foodways of the world, and to students and scholars focused upon its Pre-Columbian past and how remnants of this history continue to the present.