Theobroma Cacao - ScienceDirect
The cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) was probably first cultivated in approximately ad 250–900 by the ancient Maya civilization in Mexico and Central America. During the 12th through the 16th century, the elites of Aztec civilization drank chocolate derived from cocoa beans and also offered chocolate to Aztec gods. The beans were also used as both currency and medicine (to fight fatigue). Following the Spanish conquest of Mexico, cocoa beans were brought to Spain in 1528, and during the next 100 years cane sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, etc. were added to bitter-tasting chocolate rather than peppers and natural herbs used traditionally in chocolate production.