Chocolate is considered one of the most popular sweets in the world.
Here are some interesting facts, from it’s beginnings to today:
- The word “chocolate” comes from a Nahuatl(Aztec language) word chocolātl
- The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica around 1900BC as a fermented beverage
- The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of the god of wisdom, and the seeds once had so much value they were used as currency.
- Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter, frothy liquid, mixed with spices or corn puree, believed to have aphrodisiac powers.
- Today, such drinks are made by locals in the South of Mexico known as “Chilate”.
- After its arrival to Europe in the 16th century, sugar was added to it and it became popular throughout society of all classes.
- The confectioner Chocolaterie Lombart, created in 1760, claims to be the first chocolate company in France
- In 1815, Dutch added salts to chocolate, reducing its bitterness. By 1828, a press to was created remove about half the natural fat (cacao butter) from chocolate liquor, which made chocolate much cheaper to produce, allowing for mass production.
- In 1875 Daniel Peter invented ‘milk chocolate’ by mixing in powdered milk then further perfected by Henri Nestlé.
- ‘Boxed Chocolates’ were first introduced in England by 1868 by Cadbury
- In 1893, Milton S. Hershey purchased chocolate processing equipment at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and soon began the career of Hershey’s chocolates with chocolate-coated caramels.
- Hershey first bars were sold as a ‘meat substitute’
- By 1900 Chocolates in many forms were to be found in store around the world. Mostly milk chocolate for it was sweeter and not as bitter as bittersweet chocolates.
- Currently two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is produced in Western Africa. Many claim that over 20% of African workers live in slave-like conditions.