National Geographic News -- People have been enjoying chocolate for more than 3,000 years -- about 500 years earlier than previously believed, according to a new study. Researchers also think that chocolate was discovered by accident -- when Central American Indians making beer from the pulp of cacao seedpods found a new use for a byproduct of that process.
  The new findings about chocolate's origins were gleaned from traces of cacao found on pottery fragments dating from about 1100 B.C. to 800 B.C. Then fragments were uncovered between 1995 and 2000 at archaeological excavations near Puerto Escondido in Honduras.
  Today's chocolate is made from the fermented seeds of the cacao tree, which only grows near the equator. Around 1100 B.C., 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. The seeds were discarded.

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