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.
  "It was beer with a high kick," says study author Rosemary Joyce, an anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley. "But is would not have tasted anything like the chocolate we have today."
  About 300 years later, however, people began using the discarded fermented seeds to make a non-alcoholic beverage that was highly prized despite its bitter taste, said study author John Henderson, an anthropologist at Cornell University.
  The drink was poured from special pitchers that created froth in the drinking cups and served to celebrate special occasions such as marriages and births, Joyce says. The researchers chemically analyzed the Honduran pottery fragments, once the special pitchers, and found cacao residue.
  Spanish explorers took the non-alcoholic chocolate beverage to Europe in the 16th century. Today's familiar milk-chocolate bars first appeared in the United States in 1894.
  California author Ann Krueger Spivack, who wrote "The Essence of Chocolate" with John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg, was not involved in the study. The discovery that ferments cacao seeds could be used to make a chocolate beverage was a "happy accident" -- one the eventually gave the world one of its most popular pleasures, she says.
  The new research into chocolate's history could "fuel creativity and spark the imagination of chocolatiers and chefs," Alice Medrich, author of "Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from an Life in Chocolate," says. "As a result, we get new ideas about using chocolate in savory as well as sweet dishes and about pairing the flavors of chocolate with other flavors, too."
  She adds, "New dishes and new trends are born. And new ideas spread from the most innovative and elite kitchens quickly, ultimately becoming products on supermarket shelves."
pod 豆莢
byproduct 副產品
glean 蒐集
found 1.find p.p. 2.建造;依頼
pottery 陶器
fragment 碎片
archaeological 考古學的
excavation 挖掘
kick 踢,反作用
ancient 古代的;舊的
forth 泡沬
occasion 特殊的時候(場合);節日;慶典
reside 居住;存在
residue 剩餘
essence 精華;本質
spark 火花;閃光
chef 主廚
recipe 食譜;祕訣
tale 故事
savory 1.可口的 2.香薄荷
pair 一雙;一對
innovate 改革;發明
elite 精華
ultimate 最後;最終
ferment 發酵
bitter 有苦味的;痛苦的

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