• The gold they were searching for was right in front of them

    In 1848, at the peak of the Gold Rush phenomenon, hordes of prospectors were flocking to California to seek their fortunes. Carlos and Louie, two Spanish aristocrat brothers who had recently fallen on hard times, decided to take on the same adventure in hopes of reviving their declining wealth. Unfortunately, as they embark on their journey to California, a frightful storm capsized the ship they were on. Terrified, the brothers clung on to what they could for days before they finally dried ashore, landing on what turned out to be Ecuador. Exhausted, they stumbled towards a cluster of exotic­‐looking trees and fell asleep.

    A painful thump on his head woke Carlos up with a yell – a large object had fallen from the tree. A local tribesman who had been observing them from a distance hurried forward, pointing to the wound and indicating that they should follow him back to his village. Warily, the brothers followed and thankfully, their fears were soon alleviated when the villagers warmly welcomed them and handed them a most comforting hot beverage. They were told that this local ‘elixir’ could prevent and treat illnesses, relieve fatigue and even act as a natural aphrodisiac. Carlos discovered that this wondrous ‘elixir’ was made from the very same fruit that fell on him — cocoa.

  • The ingenious idea of adding vanilla and sugar to cocoa beans

    Over the next few days, the brothers experienced for themselves the healing properties of cocoa and were determined to introduce its goodness to their family and countrymen back home. They bid the villagers goodbye and once back in Spain, devoted every waking moment to developing wholesome and delicious cocoa beverages and snacks. Their recipes proved an instant hit across the land and the cocoa fruit, once a rare commodity that only royals could delight in, became accessible to every man.

    Carlos and Louie were heartened by their success. They recognized that the cocoa they discovered was even more precious than real gold; the “Amazonian Gold” they had found had benefited not just themselves, but their family, friends and even the wider European community. It brought riches beyond what they could have ever dreamed of.

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