When Christofer Columbus first discovered the native people they offered him their precious gift in the form of cocoa beans, in the process some of them fell out and the natives immediately dove into the water to get them. The Spanish where amazed by the reaction although still considered the strange looking almonds worthless local oddity.
Aztec emperor Montezuma mistakenly takes Cortés – dressed with gold and colored feathers – for the earlier predicted returning god - Quetzalcoatl . They offer Cortes cocoa, which greatly interests him. He thought to find gold, but found instead this strange fruit with an apparently equal value, since he soon discovered that the Aztecs used it as a currency.
Cortes quickly conquers the land and starts cocoa plantations all over the area believing that it would bring him the same wealth as the gold he was hoping for.
Cortés imports the first cocoa beans into Spain while the rest of his team maintains and stimulates cocoa cultivation in Latin America. The spanish dominate and even monopolize the cocoa market trying to keep the secret of this new gold to themselves.
Chocolate was first regarded as a medicine, rather than as a delicious foodstuff. This was related to the Aztec belief that chocolate strengthened the body therefore it was pronounced as medicine for the healthy functioning of the spleen and other digestive functions.
Benzoni, an explorer working for the Spanish army, describe how the cocoa drink is prepared. in his traveling notes in 1565.
It was Spanish monks who introduced the first sweet delicacy to Spain around 1590. They sweetened the chocolate drink with honey and vanilla. It's popularity spread around the country fast, the taste along with it's health benefits created an even higher demand for these precious beans.