What you need to know about cacao for "ceremonial" use

What motivated us to promote cacao for "ceremonial and spiritual" use and why is it identified this way?

We believe in the charm of the cacao ritual and its ancient role in Mesoamerican culture. This is why we created a cacao paste with a rough texture that we obtain by stone-squeezing the cacao beans, which can help you discover a new face of this functional food. We work directly with cocoa from our plantation (Cuyancùa, El Salvador) and from other farms and cooperatives located between El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, guaranteeing uniqueness, quality and traceability.

With the purity of cacao we want to spread the culinary and cultural traditions of Mesoamerica, bring to light the millenary traditions around this plant considered precious by the Mesoamerican peoples, to bring it back to the attention of people who are looking for unrefined, wholemeal, artisanal, simple and traceable and which are not exactly "fine" products or extremely processed chocolates.

The precise definition of ceremonial cacao has not yet been established; it is a pure cacao paste that recalls the pre-Columbian Mesoamerican drink (not chocolate, which contains sugar and undergoes other processes), produced with the intention of being used for purposes of spiritual introspection or as a functional food.

The cacao used to produce the paste must be traceable (that is, it must be known where and how it was grown precisely, it is not enough just to identify the country), ethical (that is, it must be well paid at the farm-gate) and processed using artisanal methods kind and slow on a small scale, and sustainable, in harmony with nature and the biodiversity of the place where it grows (not large plantations and monocultures where biodiversity is threatened).

Industrial cacao pastes were not created with the intention of being used for purposes of spiritual introspection or as natural medicine, since large-scale processing requires much more aggressive processes and raw materials of poor and low quality, often of dubious origin and with a high human cost. The energy of a cocoa is only high when it grows in a healthy, non-toxic environment and when the people who work there throughout the process feel connected to the plant.

Cacao paste can be produced in the place of origin or elsewhere, as long as there is transparency and traceability and deep values ​​of connection with the territory of origin of the cocoa that are easily visible to anyone. A true connection with the territory makes ceremonial cocoa even more powerful.

It is certainly not to be confused with the typical hot chocolate of the bar, composed of cacao powder, sugar, flavorings and thickeners but "pure cocoa paste", which alone communicates and expresses all its power and uniqueness: including its natural acidity . These are stone-pressed cacao beans, nothing removed and nothing added. The cocoa butter is not extracted, it remains inside, therefore making it a whole food.
For millennia, in what is called Mesoamerica (southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, part of Costa Rica, and part of northern Nicaragua), pure cocoa was used as a drink, and had a special place in the everyone's heart because it was also considered part of the sacred. Even today, it is still considered sacred by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica.
As far as we know, movements of people practicing holistic and spiritual disciplines have been discovering the medicinal use of cocoa and reevaluating its power as a plant for more than a decade.
According to historians (although very little is still known about the use of cocoa in ancient times) cocoa was used during ceremonies by the main Mesoamerican civilizations (in completely different historical periods obviously), or by the Olmecs, Maya, and Aztecs subsequently, the who took care of selecting the cocoa beans to make nutritious drinks often made of cocoa, or often combined with corn. Corn was precious to the Mesoamerican peoples, as it was their main source of sustenance, and its use was so widespread that cocoa and corn turned out to be an excellent combination: a real meal.
​The ancient Maya and not only, but also other Mesoamerican peoples over the millennia, reserved its consumption only for certain classes of the population: religious leaders, nobles, warriors to give some examples, even if we are not totally certain that it was just a drink of the elite. In those times the Mayan population probably consumed some drinks prepared with water, cocoa, corn and achiote. Although it is not yet precisely understood how they consumed cocoa, the extensive use of cocoa both as a product of high commercial value and as a culinary product and also of great spiritual value is evident. The enormous medicinal qualities of cocoa were certainly already known to these populations, as well as by their spiritual leaders, who may have made more profound use of it.
Elisa Vaicacao Ceremonial Cacao Ceremony

Bliss chemicals (anandamide, dopamine, serotonin) - Possible answers to whether cocoa has positive effects on our mental and physical health.

Cocoa is a food that contains a molecule called anandamide, an endocannabinoid known for its wellness properties. Furthermore, cocoa also contains other important neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, phenylethylamine, serotonin and tryptophan, which our brain uses to regulate emotions. Tryptophan, present mainly in meat and fish, is one of the essential amino acids necessary to synthesize serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep. Consuming pure cocoa can be an alternative to morning coffee or a healthy component of our daily diet.