Chocolate Trivia

“Chocolate is the greatest discovery of bearkind” – BP

The Aztecs and Mayans discovered the cocoa plant.

BP:  Actually, a Peruvian bear ancestor of mine, first discovered the cocoa plant on a family trip in the northern Amazon basin and introduced it to the Aztecs and Mayans. They were eternally grateful and honored bears from that point onward.

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The Aztecs and Mayans created a drink from the cocoa bean and named it “Xocoatl”.

BP:  “Xocoatl” is a translation from my ancestor’s language meaning “silky fur”. The Aztecs and Mayans compared their new drink to our silky-feeling fur which they loved to touch. Drinking cocoa was (and still is) a silky experience.

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Cocoa beans have been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. Medicinal usage has included treatment for:

  • Fatigue (Badianus Codex, 1552)
  • In a mixture of cocoa, maize, and the herb tlacoxochitl: fever, “panting of breath”, and faintness of heart (Florentine Codex, 1590)
  • Weight Gain
  • Stimulate nervous systems of “apatheitic, exhausted or feeble patients”
  • Improve digestion and elimination
  • Stagnant or weak stomachs
  • Poor kidneys and bowels
  • Anemia
  • Poor appetite
  • Mental fatigue
  • Poor breast milk production
  • Consumption/Tuberculosis
  • Fever
  • Gout
  • Kidney stones
  • Reduced longevity
  • Poor sexual appetite/low virility

Also, a mixture of cocoa bark, cocoa butter, cocoa leaves and flowers has been used to treat:

  • Burns
  • Bowel Dysfunction
  • Cuts
  • Skin irritations

Source: Food of the Gods: Cure for Humanity? A Cultural History of the Medicinal and Ritual Use of Chocolate, Dillanger, TL; Barriga, P; Escarcega, S. Department of Nutrition, University of California.
(J Nutr 2000 Aug; 130(8S Suppl):2057S-72S)

BP:  Which is why bears are so healthy!

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Chocolate came to Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1765 from the West Indies.

BP:  Needless to say, it was a dear bear friend of the ship’s captain who gifted the captain with a plethora of chocolate treats.

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Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams, declared chocolate to be superior to coffee and tea for “both health and nourishment”.

BP:  A little known fact: T. Jefferson’s original wording in the Declaration of Independence read “life, liberty, and the pursuit of chocolate”. A few radicals (coffee growers, I suspect!) refused to sign the document until the word “chocolate” was removed and “happiness” put in its place!

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American and Russian space flights have always included chocolate as part of the food supplies

BP:  This is an idea that both NASA and the Russian Space center learned from bears. Even the very first bear feather flight included chocolate. Moonbeam Bear carried chocolate in her backpack when she first discovered the lifting abilities of the bear feather. Since that time, all bear flights have included a piece of chocolate as a remembrance of Moonbeam.