Page:The food of the Gods - A Popular Account of Cocoa.djvu/36

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ITS ENGLISH NAMES.

than "cocoa," embracing both the food and the drink prepared from the cacao, and is the Mexican name, chocolatl, slightly modified, having nothing to do with the word cacao, in Mexican cacauatl. [1] In the New World it was compounded of cacao, maize, and flavourings to which the Spaniards, on discovering it, added sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and other ingredients, such as musk and ambergris, cloves and nutmegs, almonds and pistachios, anise, and even red peppers or chillies. "Sometimes," says a treatise on "The Natural History of Chocolate," "China [quinine] and assa [fœtida?]; and sometimes steel and rhubarb, may be added for young and green ladies."

In our own times it is unfortunately common to add potato-starch, arrowroot, etc., to the cocoa, and yet to sell it by the name of the pure article. Such preparations thicken in the cup, and are preferred by some under the mistaken impression that this is a sign of its containing more nutriment instead of less. Although not so wholesome, there could be no objection to

  1. Or, as otherwise written, cacava quahuitl.