The Peruvian Cacao Value Chain’s Success

Fostering sustainable entrepreneurship, innovation, and social inclusion

Authored by: Sandor G. Lukacs de Pereny

The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Food and Gastronomy

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415702553
eBook ISBN: 9780203795699
Adobe ISBN: 9781134457335


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A sour-bitter Aztec beverage was the first taste the Spanish had of Theobroma cacao. The conquistadores decided to take the tasty beans of this tropical fruit to Europe where they introduced their own adaptation of the ancient ceremonial drink to the French. Soon, its fruity aromas, buttery texture, and exotic flavor conquered the old continent’s palate. Yet, the Swiss claim themselves as the alchemists of that irresistible balance between sugar, milk, and “cocoa,” the Anglicized word for cacao “derived from the Nahuatl word Cacahuatl” (Bingham and Roberts, 2010: 19). As a result, they created a well-rounded, sweet, toasted, and creamy solid dark bar. This is the brief story of how Xocolatl became “chocolate.”

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