Although the cacao tree grows in the tropical zones of South America and the inside of the bean was known for its sweetness in South America the habit of drinking chocolate originates from Meso-America. The Maya and later Azects already knew and appreciated the delicious taste of the juice made from the mix of water, crushed cocoa beans, cornmeal, and water. The drink was seen as the drink of the gods. The drink was bitter before the Spanish arrival. The sweet and warm drink as we know now has its origins after the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese on the continent that took sugarcanes with them, and decided to sweeten and heaten the drink up. Sugarcane was grown from the 15th century onward on large plantations in coastal areas of Brazil, Mexico, Colombia & Cuba until the nineteenth century. Using mostly African slaves in the production.
Warm chocolate was at first a drink for the lucky few: it began to be more and more a public drink besides thee and later coffee in the 19th century.
In the beginning of the 19th century the first café for chocolate were opened in Santa Fe (as Bogota was called) that wasn’t much bigger than the Candelaria back then.
What is chocolate Santafereño? It is a typical Bogotan combo. It is chocolate made with water (not milk) served with white young cheese and almojábana (bread made of cornmeal and white cheese) or yuca-bread with with butter. It is custom to put the white cheese in the chocolate.
Where to taste it? In the Puerta Falsa. This tavern already exists on the same adres since 1816 and has always been run by one family. It is said that the best chocolate santafereño is served here. adres: Calle 11 #6-50