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greater than that of New Spain, amounts to
l Q30 O00 ' t l

near y g , um a s.
The cultivation of the cocoa-tree (cacari or

cacava guahuill) had already made considerable
progress in Mexico in the time of Montezuma;
and it was there where the Spaniards obtained
a knowledge of that precious tree, which they
afterwards transplanted into the Canary and
Philippine Islands. The Mexicans prepared a
beverage called by them chocolatl, in which a
little maize flour, vanilla (tlilwochitl) and the
fruit of a species of spice (mecamochitl) were
mixed with the cocoa (cacakuatl).* They
could even reduce the chocolate to cakes,
and this art, the instruments used in grinding
the cocoa, as well as the word chocolatl, have
been transferred from Mexico to Europe.
This is so much the more astonishing, as the
cultivation of the cocoa is now almost totally

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* Hernandez, lib. ii. c. I5; lib. iii. c. 46; lib. v. c. 13. In the time of Hernandez, they distinguished four varieties of cocoa, called quauhcahuatl, mecacahuatl, :rochicucahuatl, and tlalcacahuatl. This last variety had a very small seed: the tree which produced it bore an analogy undoubtedly to the cocoa, which we found growing wild on the banks of the Orinoco, to the east of the mouth of the Yao. The cocoa tree cultivated for centuries, has a larger, sweeter, and more oily seed. We must not. confound with the Theobroma Cacao the T. bicolor, of which I have given a drawing in our Plantes equinoxiales (t. i. pl. xxx. a. et b. p. 104.) and which ifieculiar to the Province of Choco.


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neglected. With difiiculty we can find a few
of these trees in the environs of Colima, and
on the banks of the Guasacualco. The cocoa
plantations in the Province of Tabasco are very
inconsiderable ; and Mexico draws all the cocoa
necessary for its consumption from the Kingdom
of Guatimala, Maracaybo, Caracas, and Gua-
yaquil. This consumption appears to amount
annually to 30,000 fienegas, of the weight of
50 kilogrammes each.‘ The Abbe Hervas
maintains that the whole of Spain consumes
90,000 fimegas. ’r The result of this estimate,
which appears to me too low, is, that Spain only
conlsumes the third part of the coffee annually
imported into Europe. But according to the
enquiries made by me on the spot, from 1799
to 1808, I found the annual exportation of
coffee to be,

In the Provinces of Venezuela and Maracaybo - 145,000
In the Province of New Andalusia (Cnmana) - 18,000
In the Province of New Barcelona - - - ' 5,000
In the Kingdom of Quito, from the Port of } 60,000

Guayaquil - - -

The value of these eleven millions and a half of kilogrammes of cocoa, amounts in Europe in time of peace, estimating the fiznega at only 40 piastres, to the sum of 45,600,000

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healthy and nutritive aliment, and is of particular
assistance to travellers. The chocolate pre-
paredat Mexico is of a superior quality, be-
cause the commerce of Vera Cruz and Aca-
pulco, brings into New Spain the famous cocoa
of Soconusco, (Xoconochco) from the coast of
Guatimala; the cocoa of Gualan from, the
gulph of Honduras near Omoa; of Uritucu
near St. Sebastian, in_ the province of Caracas-;
of. Capifigual in the province of New Bar-
celona; and of Esmeralda in the kingdomiap

Quito. ~

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were made use of as money in the great mar-
ketpof Tlatelolco, as shells were in the Mal-
divian Islands. _The cfqgga. of Soconusco, cul-
tivated at the eastern extremity of the Mexican
Empire, was used for chocolate, and the small

seed called Tlalcacahuatl. The kinds of ‘infg-,

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says Cortez in his first letter to the Empe-
ror Charles the V., “that in the province of
“ Malinaltebeque, there was gold in abundance,
“ I engaged the Lord Montezuma to esta-
“ blish. there a farm for your Majesty. He
“ went to work with so much zeal, that in

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“ less than two 'months, sixty fanegas of maize
“ and ten of beans were already sown. Two
“ thousand cacap trees (cocoa) were also plant- -
“ ed, yielding a fruit similar to the almond,
“ which is sold after being ground. This
“fruit is in such estimation, that throughout
“all the country it is used as money, and
“ employed in’ purchases in the markets and
“ every where else *.” The cocoa is still made
use of as a sort of inferior coin in Mexico;
and as the smallest coin of the Spanish Colo-

nies is a demi-real (an media) egual to twelve
sous, the common people find the employment

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venient. A sou is represented by six grains.
The use of vanilla passed from the Aztecs
to the Spaniards. The Mexican chocolate, as
we have already observed, was perfumed with
several aromatics, among which the pod of
the vanilla occupied the first place. At this
day the Spaniards deal in this precious pro-
duction,“for the purpose of selling it to the
other European nations. The Spanish cho-
cholate contains no vanilla; and there is even
a prejudice at Mexico, that this perfume is
hurtful to the health,‘ especially to those whose
nervous system is very irritable. They say
quite gravely that the vanilla occasions ner-

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vous disorders (la bag/nilla a'a pasmo). A few
years ago the same thing was said of the use of
coffee, which begins however to spread among
the natives. - 0

"When we consider the excessive price at
which the vanilla has constantly been sold in
Europe, we are astonished at the negligence
of the inhabitants of Spanish America, who
neglect the cultivation of a plant, which nature
spontaneously produces between the tropics,
almost wherever there is heat, shade, and much
humidity. All the vanilla consumed in Europe
comes from Mexico, by the way of Vera Cruz
alone. It is produced on an extent of ground‘
of a few square leagues. There is not a
doubt, however, that the coast of Caracas, and
even the Havannah, might carry on a very
considerable trade. We found in the course
of our herborizations very aromatic pods of
vanilla, exceedingly aromatic, and of an ex-
traordinary size, in the mountains of Caripe,
on the coast of Paria; in the fine valley of
Bordones near Cumana; in the environs of
Portocabello and Guaiguaza; in the forests of
Turbacoinear Carthagena; in the province of
Jaen, on the banks of the river Amazons;
and in Guayana at the foot of the granite
rocks, which form the great cataracts of the
Orinoco. The inhabitants of Xalapa, who carry
on the commerce of the fine Mexican vanilla of

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