ChocolateQuest The year was 1518. Montezuma II, the great ruler of the Aztec Empire, was ready to welcome Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god whose arrival had been anticipated for quite some time



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ChocolateQuest


The year was 1518. Montezuma II, the great ruler of the Aztec Empire, was ready to welcome Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god whose arrival had been anticipated for quite some time. Montezuma wore special sandals with soles of gold and sprinkled with precious gems. His embroidered cotton cloak, decorated with pearls and gold, rustled in the breeze. The sun reflected off his turquoise jewelry and trinkets of deer hooves.

Finally the white-bearded god arrived. Montezuma warmly greeted him with gifts and toasted him with gold goblets filled with xocoatl (chocolate). This drink was made with ground-up chili peppers, black pepper, ground cacao beans, vanilla, other spices, and cornmeal. They feasted on corn tortillas filled with chilis and tomatoes. The god, Quetzalcoatl, was actually Hernando Cortez, the famous Spanish conqueror. Cortez would eventually seize control of the Aztec Empire, conquer all of Mexico, and return to Europe with many new kinds of foods and Mesoamerican products.

What do all the substances highlighted in bold have in common? They're are all plant products. Did you know that chocolate grows on trees and that tortillas are made from corn? Were you aware that that Montezuma's cloak was made from the cotton plant? Further, did you know that all these products were formed as a result of photosynthesis?

In this WebQuest, you'll learn about photosynthesis and how it's responsible for the manufacture of plants. Also, you'll visit a chocolate factory and learn how people harvest and use these gifts of nature.

It was reported that the Aztec leader Montezuma drank 50 flagons (goblets) of chocolate drink each day! The drink was made from the cacao bean. This WebQuest looks at the cacao tree and its seeds (beans)—the product of photosynthesis responsible for the delicious chocolate drink.
portrait of hernando cortez meeting montezuma


Portrait
of Hernando Cortez meeting Montezuma


What do all the substances highlighted in bold have in common? They're are all plant products. Did you know that chocolate grows on trees and that tortillas are made from corn? Were you aware that that Montezuma's cloak was made from the cotton plant? Further, did you know that all these products were formed as a result of photosynthesis?

In this WebQuest, you'll learn about photosynthesis and how it's responsible for the manufacture of plants. Also, you'll visit a chocolate factory and learn how people harvest and use these gifts of nature.

It was reported that the Aztec leader Montezuma drank 50 flagons (goblets) of chocolate drink each day! The drink was made from the cacao bean. This WebQuest looks at the cacao tree and its seeds (beans)—the product of photosynthesis responsible for the delicious chocolate drink.

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DIRECTIONS: Read the information and the questions before going to the associated link. Fill in your answers in the spaces provided on this worksheet. Links are provided on Winward’s School Notes site.

1. View the following images and answer the questions.

a. View photo of a chocolate tree, Theobroma cacao at http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/chocolate-ripe.jpg. Where are the pods (the fruit that contains the beans or seeds) located?


b. View photo of the cacao pod and seeds at http://www.chocolatefudgecafe.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/pod-on-beans.jpg. Describe the appearance of the inside of the pod and the seeds.


c. What provided the fuel for the growth of this tree?


2. The pod and seeds are the indirect result of photosynthesis, the process in which green plants, including Theobroma cacao, make sugars. These sugars are then rearranged forming the complex organic materials that form various structures of the plants, including cacao beans. Study the diagram of photosynthesis at http://z.hubpages.com/u/701793_f520.jpg, then answer these questions.

a. What are the ingredients in photosynthesis?
b. What are the products of photosynthesis?


c. How do you think that the Theobroma tree gets the energy to build these pods and seeds?
3. Plants can make chocolate from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Unfortunately, though, once the plant does the work, you won't find neatly wrapped chocolate bars hanging from the tree limbs. First, people must harvest the plant products. Go to Exploratorium at http://www.exploratorium.edu/exploring/exploring_chocolate/choc_2.html and read the information.

a. Explain how cacao began its spread around the world.

4. Today, the production of the many chocolate products is a very sophisticated business. Visit chocolate factory at http://www.exploratorium.edu/exploring/exploring_chocolate/choc_5.html Read the page, then click “next” at the bottom to get to the next page.


a. Explain the following terms, or why they are important to the chocolate-making process:

blend of beans




roasting




winnowing




melangéur




conching




tempering








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