Chocolate has a storied history, but it isn’t always sweet. The treat’s roots can be traced back to ancient Mesoamerica, where natives mixed ground cacao beans, chili peppers, and cornmeal into a frothy drink. Colonists shipped cacao beans home to Spain, and they were used to make a sweet, rich beverage that took Europe by storm. Sadly, the craze also invigorated the trans-Atlantic slave trade, as cocoa plantations popped up in Brazil.
Learn more about how chocolate became a time-honored global indulgence, and why its production continues to draw attention from human rights watchdogs, by watching the TED-Ed video below.
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