Chocolate Timeline - Important Moments in Chocolate History
– First recorded archeological findings of cacao production in Amazon.
1500BC to 400BC
– Olmec Civilization in the Central America (Mayans and Aztecs) managed to domesticate plant Cacao, and grow it in the areas of Yucatan, Guatemala and Chiapas... Tradition of drinking chocolate started with them.
250BC to 900 AD
– During this period of time, Cacao became very popular in Mesoamerica, managing to even become one of the most common currencies. This also meant that
drinking of cacao was found only in the ruling elite.
– After the fall of Mayans, the tradition of growing cacao survived in the lands of Aztecs – Valley of Mexico. Trading routes all across Central
America brought chocolate to many, but it was consumed mostly by nobles and warriors.
– First known encounter of Europeans with Cacao happened on the 4th journey of Christopher Columbus to the New World. He did not consume it, but just
noted that some natives use it as currency.
– Hernando Cortes destroyed Aztec Empire with his army of Conquistadors, razing their towns and capturing their retches. He supposedly sent one ship
filled with cacao back to Spain.
– First historical record of cacao use in Europe came from delegation of Dominican friars, who sent gift of cacao to the Spanish Prince Philip.
- Spanish and Portuguese consumed cacao regularly, but the rest of the Europeans did not. During this century many new recipes for its preparation were
discovered. Toward the end of 16th century chocolate managed to find larger popularity as a medicinal plant, attributed as a remedy for high fever.
– English and French continued to ignore Cocoa beans. Records from that time mention English buccaneers destroying Spanish ships with Cocoa cargo.
– Spanish ports became popular destinations for Cocoa traders.
– Chocolate arrived in Italy with the help of trader Francesco d'Antonio Carletti who sold its wares to Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
– Chocolate arrived in England, where it was used as a beverage for high class. During the same time, chocolate also became quite famous on the royal
courts of Italy and France.
– American inventor Dr. James Baker discovered first machines for processing chocolate. Shortly after this, industrial revolution caused great
expansion of the chocolate business all across America and Europe.
– First of many chocolate factory opened in Switzerland.
- Dutch Cocoa (chocolate powder) was invented.
- Joseph Fry & Son, created first chocolate bar. Shortly after this, chocolate became widely affordable and popular food.
– Standards of chocolate purity were established.
– Invention of Milk Chocolate.
– Inventor Rudolphe Lindt invented machine for making chocolate smooth.
– Popular chocolate maker Hershey was established.
– Filled chocolate bonbon.
– Valentine day chocolate was introduced (Baci chocolate).
– Chunky bar.
– Chocolate becomes official part of rations for American soldiers.