Monthly Letters to Pulmonary Patients by Thomas L. Petty

Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)


National Lung Health Education Program
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HealthOne Center
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Denver, CO 80218
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Fax: 303 832 8137

More Chocolate

August  2002
Second Wind
Lomita, California

Dear Friends:

The subject of chocolate earlier this year (January 2002) received many favorable comments. I hailed the combination of pleasure and health values of chocolate to the delight of many, who were kind enough to write me.

Few know the history of chocolate and that is the purpose of this communication. Chocolate is found around the world, but most through a broad band stretching from a Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer. It existed in ancient American cultures, including the Maya and Aztec. The Aztec people drank a beverage made from ground cocoa beans for celebrations. Montezuma was purported to drink over 500 cups of chocolate each day, which seems astonishing. Chocolate was drunk at the time of sacrificial ceremonies. Spanish explorers introduced this new world delicacy into Iberian aristocracy, which later spread from Spain to Italy. Louis IV often served coffee at the court in Versailles. Marie Antoinette had hear own private chocolatier.

In 1900 Milton Hershey produced the first candy bar, allowing ordinary persons to purchase chocolate at only a nickel. During the intervening time, chocolate has traveled to the moon with the Apollo astronauts. Like fine Wine, there are regions and vintages of great chocolate.

There we very few things that we take into our body that are as pleasurable and health as chocolate. Chocolate is truly the fruit of the Gods.

I'll be in touch next month.

Your friend,

       Thomas L. Petty, MD

Last update:
04 July 2002