Cinco de Mayo is about celebrating Mexican culture. A large part of historical Mexican culture is dipped in delicious chocolate.
Cacao as Currency
Chocolate was first made by ancient Olmecs over 3,000 years ago. In Central Mexico, Mayans were the first to develop large-scale farming of cacao. As a result, chocolate became an important ingredient in many dishes and drinks.
When Aztec emperors ruled over Mexico, chocolate gained an even larger role in society.
Used as currency, cacao beans were as precious as gold. Their value was such that wily counterfeiters filled hollow cacao shells with falsified beans made of clay!
A symbol of wealth and power, chocolate was reserved for royalty and important dignitaries. These figures enjoyed frothy chocolate beverages served in disposable golden goblets. This drinking chocolate was made from beans that were toasted, fermented and ground, then infused with spices such as chili peppers, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Chocolate also had great spiritual importance. Chocolate libations were drunk during religious ceremonies and at births, marriages, and funerals. When human sacrifices were made to the Gods, those being sacrificed were given a final drink: a cup of chocolate to purify them before meeting their Maker.
Spanish colonists arrived in Mexico in the 1500s and were intrigued by chocolate, but repelled by its bitterness. Happily, they hit upon the sweet idea of adding sugar.
Modern Takes on Tradition
Mexicans still pay homage to their ancestors by making chocolate mixed with spices such as cinnamon and hot peppers. These complex flavors and textures find their way into drinking chocolate as well as mole poblano. Often served with poultry or pork, this spicy fragrant sauce relies on thick dark chocolate for its rich hue and smoothness. Considered Mexico’s national dish, mole poblano frequently appears at Cinco de Mayo festivities.
Cinco De Mayo gifts
As a chocolatier based in Texas, Delysia is sensitive to the culinary influences of its neighbor to the South. Mexican chocolate-making traditions and recipes inspire many of our products, making them ideal accompaniments for Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Drawing on Pre-Columbian predilections, Delysia’s Latin collection chocolate truffles pair sweet chocolate with fiery jalapeno, cayenne, and habanero peppers. Our Mexican hot chocolate bark is infused with cinnamon, cayenne and coffee. Then there’s our Cayenne drinking chocolate, inspired by an ancient Mayan healing recipe. Even though it’s not at all a sacrifice to drink, it’s to die for! Finally, Delysia offers a Texas hill country collection which has a Mexican mole truffle inspired by the delicious flavors of Mexico.