When you think about Chocolate today, you imagine popular sweet snack that can be found anywhere, it is cheap, gives you energy, you can enjoy it on every occasion and everybody you know have a passionate opinion about it. But that was not always the case. History of chocolate is long and interesting, filled with dramatic shifts in the way it managed to influence our modern culture and cuisine.
It all started around 4 thousand years ago in the forest of amazon, where natives managed to domesticate tree Theobroma Cacao tree and harvest their beans that were used as food. This tradition became one of the integral parts of the Mayan and Aztec cultures, with presence in their religions as the “drink of the gods”. It managed to maintain that status during the entire length of their history, because the limited amount of production and difficulties in its processing to the state of liquid beverage. It is also worth to mention that Aztecs and Incas did not have access to sugar, so their chocolate drinks were bitter and spiced with wide variety of local ingredients, even hot chili peppers! However, after 13th century, dominance of Aztecs and their establishment of trade roads gave another purpose to cocoa beans – they become currency.
This is the perfect place to find out more about incredible history of chocolate, bean from Central America that managed to become widespread and popular all across the world after its discovery by European explorers in 1500s.
Chocolate has been in our modern history for more than 500 years, and during that time it had a lot of impact on our culture, cuisine and fashion trends. Here you can find out much more about all the most important facts about chocolate.
Find out how chocolate is made in modern industrial facilities, get detailed description of all most important ingredients that can be found inside chocolate and cocoa and learn more about chocolate production.
Arrival of first Europeans to the New World enabled quick expansion of the cocoa beans away from Central America, but that expansion was not welcomed with open arms everywhere. After initial troubles in identifying all the benefits of the cocoa bean, only nobility from Spain and Portugal embraced chocolate after Hernando Cortes demonstrated to the Spanish court that cocoa drink can be mixed with sugar to create very sweet beverage. After organized trade of cocoa from New World started arriving to the Spanish ports in late 16th century, popularity of chocolate slowly started spreading to the rest of the Europe. First who embraced it were naturally nobility and Royal courts of Europe, most famously in France, Italy, Germany and England.
High cost of cocoa and difficulties in producing cheap chocolate prevented majority of European population to regularly test this new sweet snack, but advances in cooking, technology and industry quickly enabled massive adoption of chocolate by everyone. New recipes that included many new sweet ingredients enabled creation of countless new chocolate products, especially after Swiss factories started their work in early 19th century. One innovation after another came in rapid succession during 19th century (including chocolate powder, chocolate bar, milk chocolate, and others) and even more progress during 20th century (toblerone, filled chocolate bonbon, chunky bar, twix and more).
After all the centuries in our modern culture, we have grown accustomed to chocolate and its positive health benefits. Stay here and learn much more about chocolate, its types, history, facts and way it is made.