The Bittersweet Tale of Cocoa
History of cacao in Latin America, from the Maya to the Aztecs, with Bridget Kendall, Cameron McNeil, Maricel Presilla and Juan Carlos Motamayor
Do you like cocoa? You are in good company: in South and Central America people have been enjoying the fruit of the cacao tree - the source of cocoa, chocolate and much else - for thousands of years. Ancient empires fought battles for the control of the best trees, cacao beans were used as currency, and being able to make a tasty cacao drink could even save your life. To trace the history of cacao in Latin America, Bridget Kendall is joined by archaeologist Cameron McNeil, chef and food historian Maricel Presilla and geneticist and cacao researcher Juan Carlos Motamayor.
Photo: A cropped cocoa pod lies over dried cacao beans (Getty Images)