The scientific name for the cacao tree is Theobroma cacao—"food of the gods." Research now verifies that we have been enjoying this treat for more than 3000 years. Although cacao is a blend of more than 500 chemical compounds, the signature chemical is a compound called theobromine. The chocolate residue (theobromine) was found in several jars from the site of Puerto Escondido in Honduras.
Scientists used "high performance liquid chromatography coupled to atmospheric-pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry"
Dated from around 1100 B.C., this is the earliest evidence to date of the use of cacao.
"Ancient beer makers used the cacao's seedpods to make their drinks. The pods—which were a little smaller than a modern American football—were fermented, and then the pod pulp was used to make the beer." NationalGeographic.com.
"It was beer with a high kick," said study author Rosemary Joyce, an anthropologist at University of California, Berkeley.
"But it would not have tasted anything like the chocolate we have today."
Previous research on "chocolate teapots" dated chocolate drinks to about 2600 years ago.
Click this to read more about the history of chocolate.