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.
In that passage, the second line says that it was a common belief that Europeans needed to transform chocolate. Now my tutor tried to explain to me that the function of the third line is to attack this view by saying that Europeans actually never did anything innovative. And the function of subsequent lines is to support this view.
For me, it is very difficult to realize this. I feel to challenge the belief that “Europeans needed to transform their chocolate”, one should argue something like “European chocolate was already very good/delicious”. I don’t understand how this belief can be challenged by “what Europeans actually did”. Maybe they “did need to transform their chocolate”, and by not doing so they were wrong.
My tutor is correct as the answer to the questions based on this passage uses this concept. For example the answer to this question is E:
The author of the passage refers to the use of honey primarily to
A. identify the origins of an additive previously untried by Europeans
B. present an example of a product that was unknown to Europeans
C.correct the misapprehension that Mesoamericans used a sweetener that was not available in Europe
D. provide an example of an ingredient that was in the process of being displaced by a substitute
E. explain why the Spanish use of sugar in chocolate was not a sign of a need to transform chocolate
Can anyone please help me understand the function of these lines?