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What is the meaning of the term chocolate and the term cocoa? Where did they originate?

Theobroma cacao is the botanical name for the cocoa tree. The name was coined by Linnaeus in 1753. The word cocoa was used by the Maya sometime between 400BC and 100AD; however, historical linguistic investigations indicate that it was also used by the Olmec around 1000BC.

Chocolate is the word used to describe products made from beans of the cocoa tree. For many years a drink was made from the beans, until the solid eating product was developed. The exact origin of the word chocolate is not known. It might have come from the Maya verb chokola'j meaning 'to drink chocolate together', or from the Yucatec word chocol haa meaning 'hot drink'. It is often reported as coming from a Nahautl word chocolatl ; however, there is no evidence that this word existed in the Nahautl language. It might have originated from a combination of various sources. See the reference below for further detailed discussion on this issue.

S.D. Coe & M.D. Coe The true history of chocolate. Thames and Hudson, 1996






























































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