Chocolate is the craze of almost every child and adult. It is being used for decades as a gift and as a token of love. Now a day, no matter whatever the occasion is people love to send and receive chocolates. For the far away family and friends, people used to send chocolates online. But do you have any idea of the history of this indulging treat that has taken our hearts. Today in this blog, I will share with you the history of this divine delight.
The history of chocolates, dates bakes to 1900 BC. It was enjoyed in the form of a beverage called ‘Xocoatll’ by the people of Mexico previously called as pre Colombia. And they believed it to be a gift from god. It was consumed in its raw form as a bitter drink with no sweetener and cream as it is used in the chocolates today. Xocoatll came to Europe after the discovery to the new world by Spanish explorers. Christopher Columbus on his fourth trip takes cocoa beans to Europe, but initially they do not get any importance of the European society.
Olmec, Mayan and Aztec civilizations found chocolate to be an invigorating drink, mood enhancer and aphrodisiac, which led them to believe that it possessed mystical and spiritual qualities. The Mayans worshipped a god of cacao and reserved chocolate for rulers, warriors, priests and nobles at sacred ceremonies.
When the Aztecs began to dominate Mesoamerica in the 14th century, they craved cacao beans, which could not be grown in the dry highlands of central Mexico that were the heart of their civilization. The Aztecs traded with the Mayans for cocoa beans, which were so coveted that they were used as currency. In the 1500s, the Aztecs could purchase a turkey hen for 100 beans.
The Spanish people used to add up sugar cane and cinnamon to their cocoa bean drink, but it was extremely expensive at that time. It was also used as a symbol of luxury and wealth. Only well off people can afford it at that time. Spanish elites could afford the expensive import.
The chocolate drink remained the beverage of Spain until 1615 when the daughter of Spanish King Philip III wed French King Louis XIII in, she brought her love of chocolate with her to France. Thus, it becomes popular in the courts and elites of Europe and soon they gave orders to start its cultivation in Europe. For this, slaves from Africa were brought to work on the plantations and maintain the production of chocolate.
The Spanish and Europeans used to squeeze the roasted cocoa beans and take the cocoa butter out of it for making the beverage and leaves behind the dry cake of cocoa beans. Then a Dutch chemist Coenraad Johannes van Houten in 1828 used that dry cake, mixed it with milk, butter and sugar and made a digestible chocolate out of it and put it in the mold to solidify. And that’s been the beginning of solid eating chocolate. It was also less expensive and easily affordable by all. Moreover, it was delicious enough to make everyone its fan. In 1847, British chocolate company, J.S. Fry & Sons created the first solid edible chocolate bar from cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar. Then the recipe of chocolate keeps on changing and now we can see a lot of kinds and variety of chocolates.
Now a day, Europeans on the average consumer 42 percent of the world chocolate, and North American consumers 28 percent.