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Brazil’s early history – South America

By | 2017-09-08T22:52:53+00:00 September 8th, 2017|History, South America|

Venus of Santarem (Brazil, ca. 1400-1000 BC) The first people probably arrived on the Atlantic coast of South America about 15,000 BC, following the Atlantic coastline south from Central America. Probably a second wave of people followed them around 11,000 BC. It's also possible that other people reached South America by boat from Australia or Indonesia. [...]

Who are the Arawak? – South American history

By | 2017-09-08T17:33:50+00:00 September 8th, 2017|History, South America|

Arawak family in Trinidad, ca. 1500 AD The Arawak probably first arrived in South America with the second wave of people, around 15,000 BC. They were probably fishing people with canoes or boats, travelling south along the Atlantic coastline following the fish. The Arawak settled first in what is now Venezuela, along the Orinoco River, eating a lot [...]

Valentine’s Day – American holidays

By | 2017-08-14T23:53:45+00:00 August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

The fashion for people singing Valentines verses to each other may have started earlier in the Middle Ages. But the first written record we have of Valentines comes from the 1300s AD. That's when various medieval poets, including Chaucer, wrote poems about birds mating on Valentine's Day. Chaucer's poem may be the earliest of these. Nobody knows what [...]

Pueblo history – Anasazi – Native Americans

By | 2017-08-09T13:14:10+00:00 August 9th, 2017|History, North America|

Anasazi (Pueblo) pit house Pueblo people (sometimes called the Anasazi) started to build mud-brick houses for themselves in the south-west part of North America (modern Colorado, northern Arizona, and New Mexico) about 100 BC, during the Middle Woodland period (the time of the Han dynasty in China, and the Roman republic in Europe). At this point archaeologists call them the [...]

European food history – Renaissance to today

By | 2017-08-04T22:17:10+00:00 August 4th, 2017|Food, Modern Europe|

An early chocolate house During the 1500s and 1600s AD, European traders brought back all kinds of new foods from places they sailed to around the world. Rich people began to eat sugar and ginger from India(Combining these two new foods together gave us the gingerbread man). They drank hot chocolate from Central America, coffee from East Africa, and tea from China. Coffee and tea encouraged more and more [...]

Easiest chocolate mousse recipe for microwave

By | 2017-06-21T02:41:42+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Food, Modern Europe|

Chocolate mousse Chocolate mousse isn't anything the Aztecs would have eaten, because they didn't have butter or sugar. Chocolate mousse is also not good for you, but it's delicious! One warning: chocolate mousse does have uncooked eggs in it, so babies and anyone who's pregnant or not healthy shouldn't eat it. Put 1/4 [...]

Chocolate and Africa

By | 2017-06-21T01:09:55+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Africa, Economy, Food|

A white man beating an enslaved African man in Brazil As more and more people wanted chocolate, farmers had to grow more and more cocoa beans. By 1677, Spanish land-owners were buying West African people to farm cocoa beans as slaves, first in Brazil, and then in Venezuela. Gradually during the 1600s Europeans [...]

Chocolate and sugar: Chocolate comes to Europe

By | 2017-06-21T00:54:27+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Food, Modern Europe|

Aztec man serving a cup of cocoa When Spanish invaders came to the court of the Aztec ruler Montezuma in 1519, Montezuma naturally served them chocolate in gold cups. The Spanish soldiers didn't like chocolate very much, but they drank it to be polite. When they realized that chocolate had caffeine in it [...]

History of Chocolate: Where does chocolate come from?

By | 2017-12-30T13:16:40+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Food, South America, What|

History of chocolate: Cocoa pods grow right from the trunk of the cocoa tree! (Thanks World Cocoa Foundation) Chocolate comes from South America Chocolate comes from cocoa beans, which grew on trees in Central America and South America starting probably about 100 million years ago. Cocoa trees may have gotten their start on the [...]

South/Central America Scavenger Hunt

By | 2017-06-11T17:01:15+00:00 June 11th, 2017|Central America, South America|

Tomato How many things can you find around your house that people had in South or Central America before 1500 (before the European invasion)? If you don't find many around your house, how many can you find in a grocery store or a department store? Here are some suggestions: Tomatoes Honey Corn (or [...]