Delicious, delectable, soothing and, yes, American. Chocolate was a New World discovery, one of the most sought-after treasures brought back to Europe from the brave new land across the Atlantic.
Cacao, from which chocolate is created, is said to have originated in the Amazon at least 4,000 years ago. The Aztecs were so enthralled with the bean that they attributed its creation to their god Quetzalcoatl who, as the legend goes descended from heaven on a beam of a morning star carrying a cacao tree stolen from paradise. In fact, the Aztecs valued the cacao bean so much that they used it as currency.
The Aztecs also used the cacao beans to prepare a thick, cold, unsweetened drink called chocolatl - a liquid so prestigious that it was served in golden goblets that were thrown away after one use. Christopher Columbus, in 1502, was the first European to run across the beans on his fourth voyage to the New World.
You might also want to check out The Dark Side of Chocolate.
Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 44 minutes)