That humble whisk — known as a molinillo — is a big deal to archaeologists because it proves that chocolate dates back at least to the 1500s in St. Augustine.
“It shows a probable connection to Mexico or Central America that St. Augustine had,” said City Archaeologist Carl Halbirt. “It’s evidence for the presence of the chocolate drink (in St. Augustine).”
The molinillo could also be the earliest evidence of chocolate’s presence in North America, although Halbirt won’t say that. He can only relate the find to St. Augustine.
“It’s the only one we’ve ever found,” he said, turning the small wooden stick around in his fingers.