Did the Maya people have any idea what they had started when they invented chocolate around 900 AD? Not likely. Since its discovery, chocolate became a hot commodity. Chief among its uses was using chocolate (xocoatl) for sacred rituals conducted by priests paying homage to a deity named Ek Chauh, the Maya cacao god. The Mayas also believed that chocolate could treat asthma, angina, cancer, anemia, fatigue, headaches, fever, and laryngitis.
Over time, cacao beans from which chocolate is derived became so valuable, that they served as currency. Curious about their value? Writer Karen Harris unearthed a list of goods and services traded for these beans. A pumpkin cost 4 beans. The Mesoamerican version of a courtesan cost 10. Cacao beans were taxed, and a counterfeit network existed. No wonder only Mayas holding positions of power were allowed to partake of the earliest versions of chocolate!
The power of chocolate is no ancient myth
According to Healthline’s online newsletter, the darker the chocolate, the more powerful the benefits. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate…
- Is packed with fiber, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and other minerals.
- Has the potential to raise HDL and lower LDL cholesterol levels.
- Is loaded with antioxidants that combat health-destroying free radicals.
- Can stimulate artery linings to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
- Dark chocolate may reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Could protect your skin from sun damage since cocoa flavanols improve blood flow.
- Chocolate can significantly improve cognitive function in older adults.
Learn how to make this amazing food
The chocolate-making tour, which is a part of the “Triple Delight Tour” offered by Belizean Dreams Resort located in Hopkins is a delicious experience. All you have to do to avail yourself of the tour is to ask the concierge or front desk staff about scheduling, at which point you can look forward to a fun, enlightening, and educational experience.
On the 1st part of the tour, you’ll be transported to the Che’il Mayan Chocolate Factory in the Stann Creek District of Belize where not only will you see where and how cacao beans are grown, but you’ll enjoy a demonstration of the authentic, traditional chocolate-making process and try your hand at it too. Yes, you will be offered samples–and you can purchase goodies at the Factory as well, including truffles, chocolate wine, tea, and nibs.
A resort experience that’s equally yummy
Pair your Triple Delight Tour with a stay at Belizean Dreams. You can work off the chocolate you sample by swimming laps in the resort’s infinity pool and scheduling daily strolls (at whatever pace suits you) within the property’s gorgeous gardens. Since the resort is a mile from the center of Hopkins Village, why not burn calories while shopping boutiques as well? Also interested in seeing more wildlife, then we recommend the Belize Eco-Explorer Add-On which bundles the “Triple Delight Tour” with the Monkey River Tour.
Select an all inclusive Belize vacation package covering lodgings, meals, amenities, and other tours for one money-saving price, and take advantage of Belizean Dreams’ current special to save even more. Come for the chocolate. Stay for the fun. Tell friends the truth. You went to Belize to improve your health. Prove it by bringing home samples of your new favorite remedy!