While chocolate was highly esteemed in Mesoamerica, where it originated, its adoption in Europe was initially slow. There is a common belief that Europeans needed to “transform” chocolate to make it appetizing. However, while Spaniards did put sugar, which was unknown to indigenous Americans, into chocolate beverages, this additive was not completely innovative. Mesoamericans were already sweetening chocolate with honey, and the step from honey to sugar—increasingly more available than honey because of expanding sugar plantations in the Americas—is a small one. Likewise, although Spaniards adjusted Mesoamerican recipes by using European spices, the spices chosen suggest an attempt to replicate harder-to-find native flowers. There is no indication the Spaniards deliberately tried to change the original flavor of chocolate.The author of the passage refers to the use of honey primarily toidentify the origins of an additive previously untried by Europeans,
present an example of a product that was unknown to Europeans,
correct the misapprehension that Mesoamericans used a sweetener that was not available in Europe,
provide an example of an ingredient that was in the process of being displaced by a substitute,
explain why the Spanish use of sugar in chocolate was not a sign of a need to transform chocolate
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