This mortar was used to grind cacao beans. In 19th-century Philippines, drinking chocolate primed over coffee and tea. The upper class sweetened their cocoa dissolved in water, whereas the lower strata mixed it with rice or Pili nuts.
Drinking chocolate has been credited with an array of virtues, especially as a powerful aphrodisiac. Throughout history, this exotic beverage was greeted with widespread enthusiasm, from Moctezuma to King Louis XV’s mistresses, and the most famous libertines. Since the 19th century, solid chocolate has replaced the drink as a source of pleasure and gourmet indulgence and, some decades later, it became a symbol of love associated with Valentine’s Day.