Chocolate, or, An Indian Drinke
by Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma
To the Author,
The Allowance of
Melchor De Lara,
Generall for the
of John de Mena,
Physitian to the
King of Spaine.
To the Reader.
The first Point.
The third Point.
The fourth Part.
The manner of
An Indian Drinke.
By the wise and Moderate use whereof,
Health is preserved, Sicknesse
Diverted, and Cured, especially the
Plague of the Guts; vulgarly called
The New Disease; Fluxes, Consumptions,
&Coughs of the Lungs, with sundry
other desperate Diseases. By it
also, Conception is Caused,
the Birth Hastened and
Gain'd and continued.
Written Originally in Spanish, by Antonio Colmenero
of Ledesma, Doctor in Physicke,
and faithfully rendred in the English,
By Capt. JAMES WADSWORTH.
Printed by J. G. for Iohn Dakins,
neare the Vine Taverne in Holborne,
where this Tract, together with the
Chocolate it selfe, may be had
at reasonable rates. 1652
TO THE GENTRY OF The ENGLISH Nation.
The ensuing Tract, I, many yeares since Translated out of the
Originall Spanish, and Dedicated to the Right Honorable
Edward Lord Conway, &c. by whose Noble Patronage, the
Confection whereof it Treats, together with it selfe, were first
admitted into the English Court, where they received the
Approbation of the most Noble and Iuditious those dayes afforded. Since
which time, it hath beene universally sought for, and thirsted after by
people of all Degrees (especially those of the Female sex) either for
the Pleasure therein Naturally Residing, to Cure, and divert Diseases;
Or else to supply some Defects of Nature, wherein it chalenges a
speciall Prerogative above all other Medicines whatsoever.
The Author thereof was one Antonio Colmenero of Ledesma, who sometimes lived in the West Indies, where it is very much
used, and held in great esteeme, untill this day; as also in Spaine, Italy, and Flanders, and admired by the most learned
Doctors of all those Nations.
As for the Name [Chocolate] it is an Indian word,
compounded of Ate (as some say,) or (as others) Atle,
which in the Mexican Language, signifieth Water; And
Choco, the noise that the Water (wherein the Chocolate is
put) maketh, when it is stirred in a Cup, untill it Bubble and rise
unto a Froth: And may be called in English A Compounded, or
The Confection it selfe, consists of severall Ingredients
according to the different Constitutions of those that use it: the
Principall of which is called Cacao, [a kind of Nut, or kernell,
bigger then a great Almond, which growes upon a tree called the Tree of
Cacao] containing in it the Quality of the Foure Elements, as will
appeare in the following Discourse.
The vertues thereof are no lesse various, then Admirable. For,
besides that it preserves Health, and makes such as drink it often,
Fat, and Corpulent, faire and Amiable, it vehemently Incites to
Venus, and causeth Conception in women, hastens and facilitates
their Delivery: It is an excellent help to Digestion, it cures
Consumptions, and the Cough of the Lungs, the New Disease, or Plague of
the Guts, and other Fluxes, the Green Sicknesse, Jaundise, and all
manner of Inflamations, Opilations, and Obstructions. It quite takes
away the Morphew, Cleanseth the Teeth, and sweetneth the Breath,
Provokes Urine, Cures the Stone, and strangury, Expells Poison, and
preserves from all infectious Diseases.
But I shall not assume to enumerate all the vertues of this
Confection: for that were Impossible, every day producing New and
Admirable effects in such as drinke it: I shall rather referre to the
Testimony of those Noble Personages who are known constantly to use and
receive constant and manifold benefits by it, having hereby no other
Aime then the Generall good of this Common-wealth (whereof I am a
Faithfull Member) and to be esteemed (as really I am)
Westminster Your Affectionate Friend
Decemb. 20. to love and serve you,
Don Diego de Vadesforte.
To every Individuall Man,
and Woman, Learn'd, or unlearn'd,
Honest, or Dishonest: In the
due Praise of Divine
Doctors lay by your Irksome Books
And all ye Petty-Fogging Rookes
Leave Quacking; and Enucleate
The vertues of our Chocolate.
Let th' Universall Medicine
(Made up of Dead-mens Bones and Skin,)
Be henceforth Illegitimate,
And yeild to Soveraigne-Chocolate.
Let Bawdy-Baths be us'd no more;
Nor Smoaky-Stoves but by the whore
Of Babilon: since Happy-Fate
Hath Blessed us with Chocolate.
Let old Punctaeus Greaze his shooes
With his Mock-Balsome: and Abuse
No more the World: But Meditate
The Excellence of Chocolate.
Let Doctor Trigg (who so Excells)
No longer Trudge to Westwood-Wells:
For though that water Expurgate,
'Tis but the Dreggs of Chocolate.
Let all the Paracelsian Crew
Who can Extract Christian from Jew;
Or out of Monarchy, A State,
Breake `all their Stills for Chocolate.
Tell us no more of Weapon-Salve,
But rather Doome us to a Grave:
For sure our wounds will Ulcerate,
Unlesse they're wash'd with Chocolate.
The Thriving Saint, who will not come
Within a Sack-Shop's Bowzing-Roome
(His Spirit to Exhilerate)
Drinkes Bowles (at home) of Chocolate.
His Spouse when she (Brimfull of Sense)
Doth want her due Benevolence,
And Babes of Grace would Propagate,
Is alwayes Sipping Chocolate.
The Roaring-Crew of Gallant-Ones
Whose Marrow Rotts within their Bones:
Their Bodyes quickly Regulate,
If once but Sous'd in Chocolate.
Young Heires that have more Land then Wit,
When once they doe but Tast of it,
Will rather spend their whole Estate,
Then weaned be from Chocolate.
The Nut-Browne-Lasses of the Land
Whom Nature vayl'd in Face and Hand,
Are quickly Beauties of High-Rate,
By one small Draught of Chocolate.
Besides, it saves the Moneys lost
Each day in Patches, which did cost
Them deare, untill of Late
They found this Heavenly Chocolate.
Nor need the Women longer grieve
Who spend their Oyle, yet not conceive,
For 'tis a Helpe-Immediate,
If such but Lick of Chocolate.
Consumptions too (be well assur'd)
Are no lesse soone then soundly cur'd:
(Excepting such as doe Relate
Unto the Purse) by Chocolate.
Nay more: It's vertue is so much,
That if a Lady get a Touch,
Her griefe it will Extenuate,
If she but smell of Chocolate.
The Feeble-Man, whom Nature Tyes
To doe his Mistresse's Drudgeries;
O how it will his minde Elate,
If shee allow him Chocolate!
'Twill make Old women Young and Fresh;
Create New-Motions of the Flesh,
And cause them long for you know what,
If they but Tast of Chocolate.
There's ne're a Common Counsell-Man,
Whose Life would Reach unto a Span,
Should he not Well-Affect the State,
And First and Last Drinke Chocolate.
Nor e're a Citizen's Chast wife,
That ever shall prolong her Life,
(Whilst open stands Her Posterne-Gate)
Unlesse she drinke of Chocolate.
Nor dost the Levite any Harme,
It keepeth his Devotion warme,
And eke the Hayre upon his Pate,
So long as he drinkes Chocolate.
Both High and Low, both Rich and Poore
My Lord, my Lady, and his
With all the Folkes at Billingsgate,
Bow, Bow your Hamms to Chocolate.
Don Diego de Vadesforte.
To the Author,
Great Don, Grandee of Spaine, Illostrissimo of Venice,
High and mighty King of Candie, Great Bashaw of Babilon,
Prince of the Moone, Lord of the Seven Starres, Governour of the Castle
of Comfort, Sole Admirall of the Floating Caravan, Author
of Th' Europian Mercury, Chiefe Generall and Admirall of the
Invisible Fleet and Army of Terra Incognita,
Cap. James Wadsworth.
The Allowance of Melchor De
Lara, Physitian Generall for the Kingdome of Spaine.
I Doctor Melchor de Lara Physitian Generall for the Kingdom
of Spaine, at the command of Don John de Velasco, and
Asebedo, Vicar Generall of Madrid, have seene this Treatise
of Chocolate, composed by Antonio Colmenero of Ledesma
; which is very learned, and curious, and therefore it ought to be
Licensed for the Presse; it containing nothing contrary to good
manners; and cannot but be very pleasing to those, who are affected to
Chocolate. In testimony whereof, I have subscribed my Name, in
Madrid the 23. day of August. 1631.
Melchor de Lara.
The Testimoniall of John de Mena, Doctor and Physitian to the King of Spaine.
I John de Mena, Physitian to his Majesty, and one of the
Counsell Generall of the Inquisition, have seene this Treatise of
Chocolate (composed by Doctor Antonio Colmenero of
Ledesma) by command of the Supreame Royall Court of Justice:
which containeth nothing contrary to good Manners, and the Subject if
very learnedly handled, and with great Iudgement; and no doubt, but it
will give much pleasure and content to all those, who are affected to
Chocolate; and therefore may be printed: And in confirmation of
this truth, I have hereto subscribed my Name the 17. of Septemb.
John de Mena Doctor in Physicke.
To the Reader.
The number is so great of those, who, in these times, drinke
Chocolate, that not only in the Indies, where this kind of
Drink hath its originall; but it is also much used in Spain,
Italy and Flanders, and particularly at the Cour. And many
doe speake diversly of it, according to the benefit, or hurt, they
receive from it: Some saying, that it is stopping: Others, and those
the greater part, that it makes one fat: Others, that the use of it
strengthens the stomacke: Others, that it heates, and burns them: And
others say, that although they take it every houre, and in the
Dogdayes, yet they finde themselves well with it. And therefore my
desire is, to take this paines, for the pleasure, and profit of the
publicke; endeavouring to accommodate it to the content of all,
according to the variety of those things, wherewith it may be mixt;
that so every man may make choise of that, which shal be most agreeable
to his disposition. I have not seene any, who hath written any thing,
concerning this drinke; but onely a Physitian of Marchena, who
(as it seemes) writ onely by Relation; holding an opinion, that the
Chocolate is stopping, because that Cacao (the principall
Ingredient of which it is made) is cold, and dry. But because this
onely reason, may not have power to keepe some from the use of it, who
are troubled with Opilations; I thinke fit to defend this Confection, with Philosophicall Reasons, against any whosoever will condemne this
Drinke, which is so wholesome, and so good, knowing how to make the
Paste in that manner, that it may be agreeable to divers dispositions,
in the moderate drinking of it. And so, with all possible brevity,
shall distinguish and divide this Treatise into foure poynts, or Heads.
In the first place I shall declare, what Chocolate is; and what
are the Qualities of Cacao, and the other Ingredients of this
Confection; where I shall treate of the Receipt set downe by the
aforesaid Author of Marchena, and declare my opinion concerning
the same. The second point shall treate of the Quality, which resulteth
out of the mixture of these Simples, which are put into it. In the
third place the manner of Compounding; and how many wayes they use to
drink it in the Indies. In the fourth, and last place I shall
treat of the Quantity; and how it ought to be taken; at what time; and
by what persons.
The first Point.
Concerning the first Point, I say, that Chocolate is a name
of the Indians; which in our vulgar Castilian, we may call a
certaine Confection, in which (among the Ingredients) the
principall Basis, and Foundation, is the Cacao; of whose
Nature and Quality it is necessary first to treat: And therefore I say,
according to the common received opinion, that it is cold, and dry,
à prædominio; that is to say, that though it be true, that every
Simple containes in it the Qualities of the foure Elements, in the
action, and re-action, which it hath in it, yet there results another
distinct quality, which we call Complexion.
This Quality or Complexion, which ariseth of this Mixture, is not
alwayes one, and the same; neither hath it the effect in all the
mixtures, but they may be varied nine wayes; four Simple, from
whence one onely quality doth abound; and foure Compounded, from
whence two Symbolizing qualities are predominant; and one other, which
we call ad pondus, which is of all these fore-said qualities,
which are in æquilibrio, that is to say, in equall measure and
Of all these the Complexion of Cacao is composed, since there
arise two qualities, which are cold, and dry; and in the substance,
that rules them, hath it restringent and obstructive, of
the nature of the Element of the Earth. And then, as it is a
Mixed, and not a simple Element, it must needs have parts correspondent
to the rest of the Elements; and particularly, it partakees (and that,
not a little) of those, which correspond with the Element of Aire, that
is, Heat and Moysture, which are governed by the Unctious parts; there
being drawne out of the Cacao much Butter, which, in the
Indies I have seene drawne out if it, for the Face, by the
It may Philosophically be objected, in this manner: Two contrary
Qualities, and Disagreeing, cannot be in gradu intenso, in one
and the same Subject: Cacao is cold and drie, in predominency:
Therefore, it cannot have the qualities contrary to those; which are
Heat, and Moysture. The first Proposition is most certaine, and
grounded upon good Philosophy: The second is consented unto, by all:
The third, which is the Conclusion, is regular.
It cannot be denyed, but that the Argument is very strong,
and these reasons being considered by him of Marchena, have made
him affirme, that Chocolate is Obstructive; it seeming to be
contrary to Philosophy, that in it there should be found Heat
and Moysture, in gradu intenso; and to be so likewise in
Cold and Dry.
To this, there are two things to be answered: One, that he never saw
the experience of drawing out the Butter, which I have done; and that
when the Chocolate is made without adding any thing to the dryed
Powder, which is incorporated, onely by beating it well together, and
is united, and made into a Paste, which is a signe, that there is a
moist, and glutinous part, which, of necessity, must correspond with
the Element of Aire.
The other reason, we will draw from Philosophy; affirming that, in
the Cacao, there are different substances. In the one, that is
to say, in that, which is not so fat, it hath a greater quantity of the
Oylie, then of the earthie Substance; and in the fatter part, it hath
more of the earthy than of the Oily substance. In these there is Heate
and Moysture in predominancy; and in the other, cold and dry.
Notwithstanding that it is hard to be believed, that in one and the
same substance, and so little of the Cacao, it can have
substances so different: To the end that it may appeare more easie,
clear, and evident, first we see it in the Rubarbe, which hath
in it hot and soluble parts, and parts which are Binding, Cold and Dry,
which have a vertue to strengthen, binde, and stop the loosenesse of
the Belly: I say also, that he that sees and considers the steele, so
much of the nature of the earth, as being heavy, thick, cold, and dry;
it seemes to be thought unproper for the curing of Opilations, but
rather to be apt to encrease them; and yet it is given for a proper
remedy against them.
This difficulty is cleared thus, that though it be true, that it
hath much of the Earthy part; yet it hath also parts of Sulphur, and of
quick silver, which doe open, and disopilate; neither doth it so,
untill it be helped by Art, as it is ground, stirred, and made fine, in
the preparing of it; the Sulphurous parts, and those of quick-silver,
being thinne, active, and penetrative, they mingle, at the last with
those parts, which are Earthy and astringent: Insomuch, that they being
mingled after this manner one with another, we cannot now say, that the
steele is astringent, but rather, that it is penetrative, attenuating
and opening. Let us prove this Doctrine by Authorities; and let the
first be from Gallen, l. 3. of the qualities of Simples,
c. 14. Where, first of all he teacheth, that almost all those
Medicines, which, to our sence, seeme to be Simple, are
notwithstanding naturally Compounded, containing in themselves
contrary qualities; and that is to say, a quality to expell, and to
retaine; to incrassate, and attenuate; to rarifie, and to condense.
Neither are we to wonder at it, it being understood, that in every
fore-said Medicine, there is a quality to heat, and to coole; to
moisten and to dry. And whatsoever Medicine it be, it hath in it,
thick, and thinne parts; rare, and dense; soft, and hard. And in the
fifteenth Chapter following, in the same Book, he puts an example of
the Broth of a Cock, which moves the Belly; and the flesh hath the
vertue to bind. He puts also the example of the Aloes, which if
it be washt, looseth the Purgative vertue; or that which it hath, is
That this differing vertue, and faculty, is found in divers
substances, or parts of simple Medicaments, Gallen shewes in the
first Booke of his simple Medicines, and the seventeenth Chapter,
bringing the example of Milke; in which, three substances are found,
and separated, that is to say, the substance of Cheese, which hath the
vertue to stop the Fluxe of the Belly; and the substance of Whay, which
is purging; and Butter, as it is expressed in the said Gallen,
Cap. 15. Also we finde in Wine which is in the Must, three
substances, that is to say, earth, which is the chiefe; and a thinner
substance, which is the flower, and may be called the scum, or froath:
and a third substance which we properly call Wine; And every one of
these substances, containes in it selfe divers qualities, and vertues;
in the colour, in the smell, and in other Accidents.
Aristotle in the fourth Book of the Meteors and the first
Chapter, treating of Putrefaction, he found the same substances; and in
the second Chapter next following, where he that is curious may read
it. And also by the Doctrine of Galen, and of Aristotle,
divers substances are attributed to every of the mixt under one and the
same forme and quantity; which is very conformable to reason, if we
consider, that every Aliment be it never so simple, begets, and
produceth in the liver, foure humours, not onely differing in temper,
but also in substance; and begets more or lesse of that humour,
according as that Aliment hath more or fewer parts corresponding to the
substance of that humour, which is most ingendred. And so in cold
diseases, we give warme nourishment; and cold nourishment, in hot
From which evident examples, and many others, which we might produce
to this purpose, we may gather, that, when we grind and stir the
Cacao, the divers parts, which Nature hath given it, doe
artificially, and intimately mixe themselves one with another; and so
the unctuous, warme, and moist parts, mingled with the earthy (as we
have said of the steele) represses, and leaves them not so binding, as
they were before; but rather with a mediocritie, more inclining to the
warme, and moist temper of the Aire, then to the cold and dry of the
Earth; as it doth appeare when it is made fit to drinke; that you
scarce give it two turnes with the Molinet when there riseth a fatty
scumme: by which you may see how much it partaketh of the Oylie part.
From which doctrine I gather, that the Author of Marchena,
was in an errour, who, writing of Chocolate, saith that it
causeth Opilations, because Cacao is astringent; as if that
astriction were not corrected, by the intimate mixing of one part with
another, by meanes of the grinding, as is said before. Besides, it
having so many ingredients, which are naturally hot, it must of
necessity have this effect; that is to say, to open, attenuate, and not
to binde; and, indeed, there is no cause of bringing more examples, or
producing more reasons, for this truth, then that which we see in the
Cacao it self: which, if it be not stirred, and compounded, as
aforesaid, to make the Chocolate. But eating of it, as it is in
the fruite, as the Criollas eate it in the Indies, it
doth notably obstruct, and cause stoppings; for no other cause but
this, that the divers substances which it containes, are not perfectly
mingled by the mastication onely, but require the artificiall mixture,
which we have spoken of before.
Besides, our Adversary should have considered, and called to his
memory, the first rudiments of Philosophy, that à dicto secundum
quid, ad dictum simpliciter, non valet consequentia; As it is not
enough to say, the Black-a-Moore is white, because his teeth are white;
for he may be blacke, though he hath white teeth; and so it is not
enough to say, that the Cacao is stopping; and therefore the
Confection, which is made of it, is also stopping.
The Tree, which beares this fruit, is so delicate; and the earth,
where it growes, is so extreme hot, that to keepe the tree from being
consumed by the Sun, they first plant other trees; and when they are
growne up to a good height, then they plant the Cacao trees;
that when it first shewes it selfe above the ground, those trees which
are already growne, may shelter it from the Sunne; and the fruit doth
not grow naked, but ten or twelve of them are in one Gorde or Cod,
which is of the bignesse of a greate black Figge, or bigger, and of the
same forme, and colour.
There are two sorts of Cacao; the one is common, which is of
a gray colour, inclining towards red; the other is broader and bigger,
which they call Patlaxte, and this is white, and more drying;
whereby it causeth watchfulnesse, and drives away sleepe, and therefore
it is not so usefull, as the ordinary. This shall suffice to be said of
And as for the rest of the ingredients, which make our
Chocolaticall Confection, there is notable variety; because some
doe put into it black Pepper, and also Tauasco[A]; which is not
proper, because it is so hot and dry; but onely for one, who hath a
very cold Liver. And of this opinion, was a certaine Doctor of the
University of Mexico, of whom a Religious man of good credit
told me, that he finding the ordinary round Pepper was not fit to bring
his purpose about, and to the end, he might discover, whether the long
red pepper were more proper, he made triall upon the liver of a Sheepe;
and putting the ordinary pepper on one side, and the red pepper[B] on
the other, after 24 hours, the part, where the ordinary pepper lay, was
dryed up; and the other part continued moist, as if nothing had bin
thrown upon it.
[A] A red roote like madder.
The Receipt of him who wrote at Marchena, is this: Of
Cacaos, 700; of white Sugar, one pound and a halfe; Cinnamon, 2.
ounces; of long red pepper, 14. of Cloves, halfe an ounce: Three Cods
of the Logwood or Campeche tree; or in steade of that, the weight of 2.
Reals, or a shilling of Anniseeds; as much of Agiote, as will
give the colour, which is about the quantity of a Hasell-nut. Some put
in Almons, kernells of Nuts, and Orenge-flower-water.
Concerning this Receipt I shall first say, This shooe will not fit
every foote; but for those, who have diseases, or are inclining to be
infirme, you may either adde, or take away, according to the necessity,
and temperature of every one: and I hold it not amisse, that Sugar be
put into it, when it is drunke, so that it be according to the quantity
I shall hereafter set downe. And sometimes they make Tablets of the
Sugar, and the Chocolate together: which they doe onely to
please the Pallats, as the Dames of Mexico doe use it; and they
are there sold in shops, and are confected and eaten like other
sweet-meats. For the Cloves, which are put into this drinke, by the
Author aforesaid, the best Writers of this Composition use them not;
peradventure upon this reason: that although they take away the ill
savour of the mouth, they binde; as a learned Writer hath exprest in
Foetorem emendat oris Cariophilia foedum;
Constringunt ventrem, primaque membra juvant.
Cloves doe perfume a stincking Breath, and Bind
The Belly; Hence the prime members comfort find.
And because they are binding (and hot and dry in the third degree)
they must not be used, though they help the chiefe parts of Concoction,
which are the Stomacke and the Liver, as appeares by the Verses before
The Huskes or Cods of Logwood, or Campeche, are very good, and smell
like Fennell; and every one puts in of these, because they are not very
hot; though it excuse not the putting in of Annis-seed, as sayes the
Author of this Receipt; for there is no Chocolate without it,
because it is good for many cold diseases, being hot in the third
degree; and to temper the coldnesse of the Cacao; and that it
may appeare, it helpes the indisposition of Cold parts, I will cite the
Verses of one curious in this Art:
Morbosus renes, vesicam, guttura, vulnam,
Intestina, jecur, cumque lyene caput
Confortat, variisque Anisum subdita morbis
Membra: istud tantum vim leve semen habet.
The Reyns, the Bladder, throat, &thing between
Enatrailes and Liver, with the Head, and spleen
And other Parts, by [C] it are comforted:
So great a vertue's in that little seed.
The quantity of a Nut of the Achiote[D] is too little to
colour the quantity made according to his Receipt; and therefore, he
that makes it, may put in it, as much as he thinkes fit.
Those, who adde Almons, and Nuts, doe not ill; because they give it
more body and substance then Maiz or Paniso[E], which
others use; and for my part, I should always put it into Chocolate, for Almonds (besides what I have said of them before) are moderately
hot, and have a thinne juice; but you must not use new Almons, as a
learned Author sayes in these Verses.
[E] A graine like Millet.
Dat modice calidum dulcisque Amigdala succum,
Et tenuem; inducunt plurima damna nova.
New Almonds yeild a Hot and slender juice,
But bring new mischiefs by too often use.
And the small Nuts are not ill for our purpose; for they have almost
the temper, which the Almons have; onely because they are dryer, they
come nearer the temper of Choler; and doe therefore strengthen the
Belly, and the Stomacke, being dryed: for so they must be used for the
Confection; and they preserve the head from those vapours, which rise
from the Belly: as it appeares by the said Author in these Verses.
Bilis Avellanam sequitur; sed roborat alvum
Ventris, &a fumis liberat assa caput.
Filberds breed Chollar, Th' Belly Fortifie,
Benzoin the Head frees from Fumosity.
And therefore they are proper for such as are troubled with
ventuosities, and Hypochondriacall vapours, which offend the
brain, and there cause such troublesome dreames, and sad imaginations.
Those who mixe Maiz or Paniso in the Chocolate
doe very ill; because those graines doe beget a very melancholly
humour: as the same Author expresseth in these Verses.
Crassa melancholicum præstant tibi Panica succum
Siccant, si penas membra, gelantque foris.
Grosse Eares of Corne have Cholorique juice (no doubt)
Which dries, if taken inward; cooles without.
It is also apparantly windy; and those which mixe it in this
Confection, doe it onely for their profit, by encreasing the
quantity of the Chocolate; because every Fanega or
measure of [F] Grani containing about a Bushell and a halfe, is
sold for eight shillings, and they sell this Confection for
foure shillings a pound, which is the ordinary price of the
[F] Maiz, or Indian Wheat
The Cinamon is hot and dry in the third degree; it provokes
Urine, and helps the Kidneys and Reynes of those who are troubled with
cold diseases; and it is good for the eyes; and in effect, it is
cordiall; as appeares by the Author of these Verses.
Commoda &urinæ Cinnamomum, &renibus
Lumina clarificat, dira venena fugat. (affert:
Cinnamon helps the Reines and Urine well,
It cleares the Eyes, and Poison doth expell.
The Achiote hath a piercing attenuating quality, as appeareth
by the common practice of the Physitians in the Indies,
experienced daily in the effects of it, who doe give it to their
Patients, to cut, and attenuate the grosse humours, which doe cause
shortnesse of breath, and stopping of urine; and so it may be used for
any kind of Opilations; for we give it for the stoppings, which are in
the breast, or in the Region of the belly, or any other part of the
And concerning the long red Peper, there are foure sorts of it. One
is called Chilchotes: the other very little, which they call
Chilterpin; and these two kinds, are very quicke and biting. The
other two are called Tonalchiles, and these are moderately hot;
for they are eaten with bread, as they eate other fruits, &they are of
a yellow colour; and they grow onely about the Townes, which are in,
and adjoyning to the Lake of Mexico. The other Pepper is called
Chilpaclagua, which hath a broad huske, and this is not so biting
as the first; nor so gentle as the last, and is that, which is usually
put into the Chocolate.
There are also other ingredients, which are used in this
Confection. One called Mechasuchil; and another which they
call Vinecaxtli, which in the Spanish they call
Orejuelas, which are sweet smelling Flowers, Aromaticall and hot.
And the Mechasuchil hath a Purgative quality; for in the
Indies they make a purging portion of it. In stead of this, in
Spaine they put into the Confection, powder of Alexandria, for opening the Belly.
I have spoken of all these Ingredients, that every one may make
choise of those which please him best, or are most proper for
The second Point.
As concerning the second point, I say, as I have said before, that
though it be true, that the Cacao is mingled with all these
Ingredients, which are hot; yet there is to be a greater quantity of
Cacao, then of all the rest of the Ingredients, which serve to
temper the coldnesse of the Cacao: Just as when we seek, of two
Medicines of contrary qualities, to compound one, which shall be of a
moderate temper: In the same manner doth result the same action and
re-action of the cold parts of the Cacao, and of the hot parts
of the other ingredients, which makes the Chocolate of so
moderate a quality, that it differs very little from a mediocrity; and
when there is not put in any ordinary pepper, or Cloves, but onely a
little Annisseed (as I shall shew hereafter) we may boldly say, that it
is very temperate. And this may be proved by reason, and experience:
(supposing that which Gallen sayes, to be true, that every mixt
Medicine, warmeth the cold, and cooleth the hot; bringing the examples
of Oyle of Roses.) By experience, I say, that in the Indies
(as is the custom of that countrey) I comming in a heat to visite a
sick person, and asking water to refresh me, they perswaded mee to take
a Draught of Chocolate; which quencht my thirst: &in the morning
(if I took it fasting) it did warme and comfort my stomack. Now let us
prove it by reason. Wee have already proved, that all the parts of the
Cacao are not cold. For we have made it appeare that the unctuous
parts, which are many, be all hot, or temperate: then, though it be
true, that the quantity of the Cacao is greater than of all the
rest of the ingredients, yet the cold parts are at the most, not halfe
so many as the hot; and if for all this they should be more, yet by
stirring, &mangling of the warme unctuous parts, they are much
qualified. And, on the other side, it being mixt with the other
Ingredients, which are hot in the second and third degree, being the
predominant quality, it must needs be brought to a mediocrity. Like as
two men, who shake hands, the one being hot, and the other cold, the
one hand borrows heat, and the other is made colder; and in conclusion,
neither hand retaines the cold, or heat it had before, but both of them
remain more temperate. So like-wise two men, who go to wrestle, at the
first they are in their full vigour and strength; but after they have
strugled a while, their force lessens by degrees, till at last they are
both much weaker, than when they began to wrestle. And Aristotle
was also of this opinion in his fourth Booke of the Nature of Beasts,
cap. 3. Where he sayes, that every Agent suffers with the patient;
as that which cuts, is made dul by the thing it cuts; that which
warmes, cooles it selfe; and that which thrusts, or forceth forward, is
in some sort driven bake it selfe.
From whence I gather, that it is better to use Chocolate,
after it hath beene made some time, a Moneth at the least. I believe
this time to be necessary, for breaking the contrary qualities of the
severall Ingredients, and to bring the Drinke to a moderate temper.
For, as it alwayes falls out at the first, that every contrary will
have its predominancy, and will worke his owne effects, Nature not
liking well to be heated and cooled, at the same time. And this is the
cause why Gallen in his twelfth Booke of Method, doth
advise not to use Philonium, till after a yeare, or, at the
least, six moneths; because it is a composition made of Opium
(which is cold in the fourth degree) and of Pepper, and other
Ingredients, which are hot in the third degree. This Theorum, and
Doctrine, is made good by the practise, which some have made, of whom I
have asked, what Chocolate did best agree with them? and they
have affirmed, that the best is that which hath beene made some
moneths: and that the new doth hurt by loosening the Stomack; And, in
my opinion, the reason of it is, that the unctuous or fat parts, are
not altogether corrected, by the earthy parts of the Cacao. And
this I shall thus prove; for, as I shall declare hereafter, if you make
the Chocolate boyle, when you drinke it, the boyling of it
divides that fat and oyly part; and that makes a relaxation in the
Stomacke in the old Chocolate, as well as if it were new.
So that I conclude in this second point, that the Chocolaticall
Confection is not so cold as the Cacao, nor so hot as the
rest of the Ingredients; but there results from the action and
re-action of these Ingredients, a moderate temper which may be good,
both for the cold and hot stomacks, being taken moderately, as shall be
declared hereafter; and it having beene made a moneth at the least; as
is already proved. And so I know not why any many having made
experience of this Confection (which is composed, as it ought to
be, for every particular) should speake ill of it. Besides, where it is
so much used, the most, if not all, as well in the Indies, as in
Spain, finde, it agreeth well with them. He of Merchena had
no ground in saying, that it did cause Opilations. For, if it were so,
the Liver being obstructed, it would extenuate its subject; and by
experience, we see to the contrary, that it makes fat; the reason
whereof I shall shew hereafter. And this shall suffice for the second
The third Point.
Having treated in the first poynt, of the definition of Chocolate, the quality of the Cacao, and of the other Ingredients; and in
the second Point, of the Complexion, which results from the mixture of
them; There remaines now in the third poynt, to shew the way how to
mingle them: And first I will bring the best Receipt, and the most to
the purpose, that I could find out; although it be true which I have
said, that one Receipt cannot be given, which shall be proper for all;
that is to be understood of those, who are sick; for those that are
strong, and in health, this may serve: and for the other (as I have
said in the conclusion of the first Poynt) every one may make choyse of
the Ingredients, as they may be usefull, to this, or that part of his
The Receipt is this.
To every 100. Cacaos, you must put two cods of the[G] long
red Pepper, of which I have spoken before, and are called in the
Indian Tongue, Chilparlagua; and in stead of those of the
Indies, you may take those of Spaine which are broadest,
&least hot. One handfull of Annis-seed Orejuelas, which are
otherwise called Pinacaxlidos: and two of the flowers, called
Mechasuchil, if the Belly be bound. But in stead of this, in
Spaine, we put in six Roses of Alexandria beat to Powder:
One Cod of Campeche, or Logwood: Two Drams of Cinamon; Almons,
and Hasle-Nuts, of each one Dozen: Of white Sugar, halfe a pound: of
Achiote enough to give it the colour. And if you cannot have those
things, which come from the Indies, you may make it with the
The way of Compounding.
The Cacao, and the other Ingredients must be beaten in a
Morter of Stone, or ground upon a broad stone, which the Indians
call Metate, and is onely made for that use: But the first thing
that is to be done, is to dry the Ingredients, all except the
Achiote; with care that they may be beaten to powder, keeping them
still in stirring, that they be not burnt, or become black; and if they
be over-dried, they will be bitter, and lose their vertue. The Cinamon,
and the long red Pepper are to be first beaten, with the Annis-seed;
and then beate the Cacao, which you must beate by a little and
little, till it be all powdred; and sometimes turne it round in the
beating, that it may mixe the better: And every one of these
Ingredients, must be beaten by it selfe; and then put all the
Ingredients into the Vessell, where the Cacao is; which you must
stirre together with a spoone; and then take out that Paste, and put it
into the Morter, under which you must lay a little fire, after the
Confection is made. But you must be very carefull, not to put more
fire, than will warme it, that the unctuous part doe not dry away. And
you must also take care, to put in the Achiote in the beating;
that it may the better take the colour. You must Searse all the
Ingredients, but onely the Cacao; and if you take the shell from
the Cacao, it is the better; and when you shall find it to be
well beaten, &incorporated (which you shall know by the shortness of
it) then with a spoone take up some of the Paste, which will be almost
liquid; and so either make it into Tablets; or put it into Boxes; and
when it is cold it will be hard. To make the Tablets you must put a
spoonfull of the Paste upon a piece of paper, the Indians put it
upon the leaf of a Planten-tree; where, being put into the
shade, it growes hard; and then bowing the paper, the Tablet falls off,
by reason of the fatnesse of the paste. But if you put it into any
thing of earth, or wood, it sticks fast, and will not come off, but
with scraping, or breaking. In the Indies they take it two
severall waies: the one, being the common way, is to take it hot, with
Atolle, which was the Drinke of Ancient Indians (the
Indians call Atolle pappe, made of the flower of Maiz, and so they mingle it with the Chocolate, and that the
Atolle may be more wholesome, they take off the Husks of the
Maiz, which is windy, and melancholy; and so there remaines onely
the best and most substantiall part.) Now, to returne to the matter, I
say, that the other Moderne drinke, which the Spaniards use so much, is
of two sorts. The one is, that the Chocolate, being dissolved
with cold water, &the scumme taken off, and put into another Vessell,
the remainder is put upon the fire, with Sugar; and when it is warme,
then powre it upon the Scumme you tooke off before, and so drinke it.
The other is to warme the water; and then, when you have put it into a
pot, or dish, as much Chocolate as you thinke fit, put in a
little of the warme water, and then grinde it well with the molinet;
and when it is well ground, put the rest of the warme water to it; and
so drinke it with Sugar.
Besides these former wayes, there is one other way; which is, put
the Chocolate into a pipkin, with a little water; and let it
boyle well, till it be dissolved; and then put in sufficient water and
Sugar, according to the quantity of the Chocolate; and then
boyle it againe, untill there comes an oyly scumme upon it; and then
drinke it. But if you put too much fire, it will runne over, and
spoyle. But, in my opinion, this last way is not so wholsome, though it
pleaseth the pallate better; because, when the Oily is divided from the
earthy part, which remaines at the bottome, it causeth Melancholy; and
the oily part loosens the stomacke, and takes away the appetite: There
is another way to drink Chocolate, which is cold; and it takes
its name from the principall Ingredient, and is called Cacao;
which they use at feasts, to refresh themselves; and it is made after
this manner. The Chocolate being dissolved in water with the
Molinet, take off the scumme or crassy part, which riseth in
greater quantity, when the Cacao is older, and more putrified.
The scumme is laid aside by it selfe in a little dish; and then put
sugar into that part, from whence you tooke the scumme; and powre it
from on high into the scumme; and so drink it cold. And this drink is
so cold, that it agreeth not with all mens stomacks; for by experience
we find the hurt it doth, by causing paines in the stomacke, and
especially to Women. I could deliver the reason of it; but I avoid it,
because I will not be tedious, some use it, &c.
There is another way to drinke it cold, which is called Cacao
Penoli; and it is done, by adding to the same Chocolate
(having made the Confection, as is before set downe) so much
Maiz, dryed, and well ground, and taken from the Huske, and then
well mingled in the Morter, with the Chocolate, it falls all
into flowre, or dust; & so these things being mingled, as is said
before, there riseth the Scum; and so you take and drink it, as before.
There is another way, which is a shorter and quicker way of making
it, for men of businesse, who cannot stay long about it; and it is more
wholsome; and it is that, which I use. That is, first to set some water
to warm; and while it warms, you throw a Tablet, or some Chocolate, scraped, and mingled with sugar, into a little Cup; and when the water
is hot, you powre the water to the Chocolate, and then dissolve
it with the Molinet; and then without taking off the scum, drink it as
is before directed.
The fourth Part.
There remaines to be handled in the last Point, of the Quantity,
which is to be drunke: at what Time; and by what persons: because if it
be drunk beyond measure, not onely of Chocolate, but of all
other drinkes, or meates, though of themselves they are good and
wholsome, they may be hurtfull. And if any finde it Opilative, it comes
by the too much use of it; as when one drinkes over much Wine, in stead
of comforting, and warming himselfe, he breeds, and nourisheth cold
diseases; because Nature cannot overcome it, nor turne so great a
quantity into good nourishment. So he that drinkes much Chocolate, which hath fat parts, cannot make distribution of so great a quantity
to all the parts; and that part which remaines in the slender veines of
the Liver, must needs cause Opilations, and Obstructions.
To avoid this inconvenience; you must onely take five or six ounces,
in the morning, if it be in winter; and if the party who takes it, be
Cholerick, in stead of ordinary water, let him take the distilled water
of Endive. The same reason serves in Summer, for those, who take it
physically, having the Liver hot and obstructed. If his Liver be cold
and obstructed, then to use the water of Rubarb. And to
conclude, you may take it till the Moneth of May, especially in
temperate dayes. But I doe not approve, that in the Dogdayes it should
be taken in Spaine, unlesse it be one, who by custome of taking
it, receives no prejudice by it. And if he be of a hot Constitution,
and that he have neede to take it in that season, let it, as is said
before, be mingled with water of Endive; and once in foure
dayes, and chiefely when he findes his stomacke in the morning to be
weake and fainting. And though it be true, that, in the Indies,
they use it all the yeare long, it being a very hot Countrey, and so it
may seeme by the same reason it may be taken in Spaine: First, I
say, that Custome may allow it: Secondly, that as there is an
extraordinary proportion of heate, so there is also of moisture; which
helpes, with the exorbitant heat, to open the pores; and so dissipates,
and impoverisheth our substance, or naturall vigor: by reason whereof,
not only in the morning, but at any time of the day, they use it
without prejudice. And this is most true, that the excessive heate of
the Country, drawes out the naturall heate, and disperseth that of the
stomack and of the inward parts: Insomuch that though the weather be
never so hot, yet the stomack being cold, it usually doth good. I do
not onely say this of the Chocolate, which, as I have proved,
hath a moderate heate; But if you drinke pure wine, be the weather
never so hot, it hurts not, but rather comforts the stomack; and if in
hot weather you drinke water, the hurt it doth is apparant, in that it
cooles the stomack too much; from whence comes a viciated Concoction,
and a thousand other inconveniences.
You must also observe, that it being granted, as I have said, that
there are earthy parts in the Cacao, which fall to the bottome
of the Cup, when you make the drinke, divers are of the opinion, that,
that which remaines, is the best and the more substantiall; and they
hurt themselves not a litle, by drinking of it. For besides, that it is
an earthy substance, thick, and stopping, it is of a malancholy Nature;
and therefore you must avoid the drinking of it, contenting your selfe
with the best, which is the most substantiall.
Last of all, there rests one difficulty to be resolved, formerly
poynted at; namely, what is the cause, why Chocolate makes most
of them that drinke it, fat. For considering that all of the
Ingredients, except the Cacao, do rather extenuate, than make
fat, because they are hot and dry in the third degree. For we have
already said, that the qualities which do predominate in Cacao,
are cold, and dry; which are very unfit to adde any substance to the
body. Neverthelesse, I say, that the many unctuous parts, which I have
proved to be in the Cacao, are those, which pinguifie, and make
fat; and the hotter ingredients of this Composition, serve for a guide,
or vehicall, to passe to the Liver, and the other parts, untill they
come to the fleshy parts; and there finding a like substance, which is
hot and moyst, as is the unctuous part, converting it selfe into the
same substance, it doth augment and pinguifie. Much more might be said
from the ground of Philosophy, and Physique; but because that is fitter
for the Schooles, than for this discourse; I leave it, and onely give
this Caution, that in my Receipt, you may adde Mellon seeds, and seeds
of Pompions of Valencia, dryed, and beaten into powder, where
there is any heat of the Liver or Kidnyes. And if there be any
obstructions of the Liver, or Spleene, with any cold distemper, you may
mixe the powder of Ceterach; to which you may adde Amber, or
Muske, to please the scent.
And it will be no small matter, to have pleased all, with this
How to make use of the Chocolate,
to be taken as a drinke, exceeding
cordiall for the comfort of
the healthfull, and also for
those in weaknesse and Consumptions,
to be dissolved in Milke or Water.
If you please to take it in milke, to a quart, three ounces of
Chocolate will be sufficient: Scrape your Chocolate very
fine, put it into your milke when it boiles, work it very well with the
Spanish Instrument called Molenillo between your hands:
which Instrument must be of wood, with a round knob made very round,
and cut ragged, that as you turne it in your hands, the milke may froth
and dissolve the Chocolate the better: then set the milke on the
fire againe, untill it be ready to boyle: having the yelke of two eggs
well beaten with some of the hot milke; then put your eggs into the
milke, and Chocolate and Sugar, as much as you like for
your taste, and worke all together with the Molenillo, and thus
drinke a good draught: or if you please you may slice a little Manchet
into a dish, and so eate it for a breakfast: you may if you please make
your Chocolate with Water and Sugar, working it after the same
order with your Molenillo, which for some weake stomacks may
chance to be better liked. And many there be that beat Almonds, and
strayne them into the water it is boyled, and wrought with the
Chocolate and Sugar: others like to put the yelkes of eggs as
before in the milke, and even sweeten it with Sugar to your taste: If
you drinke a good draught of this in a morning, you may travell all the
day without any other thing, this is so Substantiall and Cordiall.
The manner of making
Set a Pot of Conduit Water over the fire untill it boiles, then to
every person that is to drink, put an ounce of Chocolate, with
as much Sugar into another Pot; wherein you must poure a pint of the
said boiling Water, and therein mingle the Chocolate and the
Sugar, with the instrument called El Molinillo, untill it be
thoroughly incorporated: which done, poure in as many halfe pints of
the said Water as there be ounces of Chocolate, and if you
please, you may put in one or two yelks of fresh Eggs, which must be
beaten untill they froth very much; the hotter it is drunke, the better
it is, being cold it may doe harme. You may likewise put in a slice of
white bred or Bisquet, and eate that with the Chocolate. The
newer and fresher made it is, the more benefit you shall finde by it;
that which comes from forreigne parts, and is stale, is not so good as
that which is made here.