Oct 30, 2018
By Jane Brown
Chocolate lovers have been around for a long, long time.
New research strengthens the case that people used the chocolate component cacao in South America 5400 years ago.
According to a study by the University of British Columbia, tests indicate traces of cacao on artifacts from an archaeological site in Ecuador.
That’s about 1500 years older than cacao’s known domestication in Central America.
The ancient South American civilization likely didn’t use cacao to make chocolate, since there’s no established history of indigenous populations in the region using it that way.
The tests indicate the civilization used the cacao seed, not just the fruity pulp.
The seeds are the part of the cacao pod used to make chocolate.