All Women's Talk

Nom Nom the History of Chocolate ...

By Neecey

It's yummy, it's sweet, it's gooey and it makes us feel good. Who doesn't love chocolate? I love it and i know I eat too much of it (but it calls to me ... eat me, eat me), but how did this super treat develop? Just what is the history of chocolate?

1 2000 B.C

2000 B.C Cacao, which chocolate is made from, originates from the Amazon and has been traced back to around 4000 years ago. In Mayan culture, cacao pods come to symbolize fertility and life, and temple stones are carved in to the shape of the pods.

2 1200

1200 In Aztec culture, cocoa beans were highly prized and started to be used as their own form of currency. The modern word chocolate actually stems back to the language of the Aztecs.

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3 1528

1528 Spanish Conquistador Don Hernán Cortés brought cacao beans to Spain in 1528 and very gradually, the custom of drinking chocolate spread across Europe, reaching England in the 1650s. Noble Spaniards begin to mix the bitter cocoa with things like sugar and cinnamon, creating the sweeter cocoa based drinks and treat we are used to today.

4 1569

1569 Drinking chocolate becomes a religious debate after Pope Pius V declares that Catholics are allowed to drink it during the Fast.

5 1609

1609 The first book is published that is solely dedicated to the use of chocolate, a very early form of cookbook!

6 1657

1657 London’s very first chocolate shop is opened by a Frenchman, and it becomes one of the most popular establishments in the city.

7 1662

1662 The Catholic Church takes another look at chocolate to assess if the delicious food has any kind of bewitching properties.

8 1704

1704 Chocolate makes its first appearance in Germany and is immediately made subject to a harsh tax because it proves so popular.

9 1720

1720 The rise in popularity of chocolate in Italy leads to many creative and delicious developments from the usual drinking chocolate.

10 1730

1730 The power of steam begins to be utilized, which means that chocolate can now be mass-produced in much larger quantities than before.

11 1755

1755 This is the year that mainland America finally decides to take notice of and discover the brilliance of chocolate! In 1765 the first chocolate factory is built in the USA.

12 1810

1810 At this point in history half of all the world’s chocolate is made in Venezuela, with a third of it being consumed in Spain.

13 1819

1819 The Swiss decide to get heavily in to chocolate, investing in their own chocolate factory and sowing the seeds of what would become a national reputation.

14 1822

1822 The cacao tree becomes known as an ornamental plant in some parts of Western Africa.

15 1828

1828 The cocoa press is invented which helped to make drinking chocolate a much smoother and more enjoyable experience.

16 1830

1830 In the moment everybody had been waiting for, drinking chocolate is finally made in to solid eating chocolate for everybody to enjoy and in 1849 the Cadbury’s brothers exhibit their brand of chocolate treats at Bingley Hall in Birmingham, England.

17 1851

1851 Americans are introduced to eating chocolate and chocolate biscuits when Prince Albert organizes a special exhibition.

18 1875

1875 After eight years of experiments, the Swiss finally reveal their new invention, a sweeter, tastier treat called milk chocolate. And in 1879 the Swiss then invent a technique called ‘conching’ which makes chocolate literally melt in your mouth.

19 1910

1910 Chocolate becomes a national dish in Switzerland, and their reputation as the world’s best manufacturers is unquestioned.

20 1923

1923 In America, the CMA, Chocolate Manufacturer’s Association, is formed, helping to regulate quality and two years later, a New York Cocoa Exchange is established at the World Trade Center.

21 Today

Today Chocolate is literally out of this world, as it is now taken to space as part of an astronaut's food package!

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