Chocolate Timeline - Important Moments in Chocolate History
2000 BC – First recorded archeological findings of cacao production in Amazon.
1500BC to 400BC – Olmec Civilization in Central America (Mayans and Aztecs) managed to domesticate the Cacao plant and grow it in Yucatan, Guatemala, and Chiapas... The tradition of drinking chocolate started with them.
250BC to 900 AD – During this period, Cacao became very popular in Mesoamerica, managing even to become one of the most common currencies. This also meant that cacao drinking was found only in the ruling elite.
14th century – After the fall of the Mayans, the tradition of growing cacao survived in the lands of Aztecs – Valley of Mexico. Trading routes across Central America brought chocolate to many, but nobles and warriors primarily consumed it.
1502 – 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 noted that some natives use it as currency.
1521 – 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.
1544 – First historical record of cacao use in Europe came from a delegation of Dominican friars, who sent a gift of cacao to the Spanish Prince Philip.
16th century - 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 the 16th century, chocolate found immense popularity as a medicinal plant, attributed as a remedy for high fever.
1579 – English and French continued to ignore Cocoa beans. Records from that time mention English buccaneers destroying Spanish ships with Cocoa cargo.
1585 – Spanish ports became popular destinations for Cocoa traders.
1606 – 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.
1650-1670 – Chocolate arrived in England, where it was used as a beverage for the high class. During the same time, chocolate also became quite famous in the royal courts of Italy and France.
the 1760s – American inventor, Dr. James Baker, discovered the first machines for processing chocolate. Shortly after, the industrial revolution caused significant expansion of the chocolate business across America and Europe.
1819 – First of many chocolate factories opened in Switzerland.
1828 - Dutch Cocoa (chocolate powder) was invented.
1847 - Joseph Fry & Son created the first chocolate bar. Shortly after this, chocolate became widely affordable and famous food.
1860 – Standards of chocolate purity were established.
1879 – Invention of Milk Chocolate.
1879 – Inventor Rudolphe Lindt invented the machine for making chocolate smooth.
1893 – Popular chocolate maker Hershey was established.
1808 – Toblerone.
1913 – Filled chocolate bonbon.
1922 – Valentine's day chocolate was introduced (Baci chocolate).
1936 – Chunky bar.
1938 – Chocolate becomes an official part of rations for American soldiers.