Cacao beans have been treasured in Mesoamerican cultures for at least 3,000 years. It was used as a symbol of the afterlife and rebirth. In Maya culture, it was associated with death, fertility, and economic exchange.
Cacao beans were often buried with the dead to provide sustenance in the afterlife or ground up into a drink to ensure that they would rise from their graves. The cacao bean also represented new life in many ways; its seeds could be eaten raw, roasted, or cooked to produce cocoa, which can be sweetened with honey or brewed for an alcoholic drink called “chocolate” by indigenous peoples across Central America and Mexico.
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