Researchers have discovered that chocolate produced some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. Wise faces bent over an ocean of seeds, summoning sweet from bitter.The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can't remember what they are. In my mind, I follow my chocolate to its beginnings. Roads and rivers and cunning machines that bear the chocolate to me.

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They enjoyed a drink called "xocolatl" or "chocolatl," meaning "bitter drink" or "bitter water," that was made from cocoa beans.

This beverage was consumed at special occasions with the belief that the beans were a gift sown on earth by the gods and endowed wisdom if eaten.

The beans themselves were also valued as a currency; slaves could be bought and sold for 100 cocoa beans!

More than any other food, chocolate delights and enchants ... Chocolate has soothed fretful children and welcomed tired travelers; mountain climbers have saved their last piece of chocolate to celebrate reaching new heights; suitors have given chocolate to show the depth of their devotion.

Chocolate has been used as a stimulant, an aphrodisiac, and [even] a form of currency.

Chocolate making is an art as well as a science, and chocolate makers keep secret the roasting temperatures used, the time given to "conching", and the exact proportions of their formulations, which is why no two manufacturers' chocolates taste the same.Chocolate knows no boundaries; speaks all languages; comes in all sizes; is woven through many cultures and disciplines impacts mood, health, and economics, and it is a part of our lives from early childhood through the elderly years. What is it that makes chocolate universally popular?In my dreams I gorge on chocolates, I roll in chocolates, and their texture is not brittle but soft as flesh, like a thousand mouths on my body, devouring me in fluttering small bites. Clearly it satisfies a natural craving for sweets, but so do many other foods.To die beneath their tender gluttony seems the culmination of every temptation I have ever known. It is not something you can leave, something you like only moderately. Or it may be that there are so many kinds of chocolate available to suit everyone's taste.What started out as a bitter drink enjoyed by the natives of the new world in the early 16th century has evolved to become a complex offering of dark, light, liquid, solid, bitter, sweet and semisweet chocolate.