Cacao, nutrition, fermentation, why a divine gift?
Cacao was a divine gift, or, gift from the gods to the Maya and Aztec, it was brought to humanity by Kukulkan and Quetzalcoatl, respectively. Looking at this plant with modern science, it is not difficult to understand why.
Cacao has won the whole world over, via it’s man-crafted derivatives such as chocolate or hot cocoa, but it is even more interesting than that.
A pod of cacao has everything inside it required to naturally, safely ferment with yeast & bacteria beneficial to human health.
It is also full of beans which are, as they are naturally, in the top 10 most micronutrient dense plant foods known to man.
Up until the industrial revolution’s late stages, most of humanity survived on scarce food resources which were mainly mono-crops grown locally. Meaning, if your community, or pocket of civilization grew rice, wheat, or potatoes, then this one crop made up most of your diet. This type of diet may be scalable as a solution for relative food scarcity, but it neglects the hunter-gatherer-evolutionally-designed need for a wide range of micronutrients.
Much of our variety came (and still comes) from the magical transformation of fermented foods. Imagine, then, discovering this plant and its potential impact on civilization.
You would too thank the gods for this gift, as it is so specifically convenient to our natural needs even before considering cacao’s amazing flavour and stimulating properties.