Chocolate awakens a lot of emotions in us. We love it and hate it. We either avoid it like the plague or devour it. Do you know where it came from and since when does it accompany us?
Here are some facts from the history of chocolate:
Circa 600 BC – The Maya drank a drink containing chocolate. Research conducted in 2002 discovered traces of theobromine in three separate teapots from a Mayan burial site in Colha, Belize. Theobromine is a substance that stimulates heart activity and dilates blood vessels. A study published in 2005 at Imperial College London reports that theobromine has antitussive properties greater than codeine, due to its influence on the activity of the vagus nerve. Additionally, theobromine is helpful in the treatment of asthma by relaxing smooth muscles, including those in the bronch
Circa 500 BC – Traces of cocoa found on a flat plate used to prepare food.
1000-1125 CE – Fragments of pottery with cocoa residue found in Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, dating to 1000-1125 CE.
1502 – Christopher Columbus discovers cocoa beans in a Mayan canoe. It is clear to him that they are considered important and valuable because of the way they are treated by the traders. Among other things, he brought samples to King Ferdinand, but their use and value were not fully recognized yet.
1519 – Hernán Cortés meets Motecuhzoma II, the Aztec Emperor, and witnesses his consumption of “chocolatl”, a cold, thick, bitter drink made from cocoa beans and a variety of herbs and spices.
1525-1600 – Europeans develop a taste for hot chocolate and Spain builds a lucrative business growing cocoa beans in many of the overseas colonies. It has kept the art of the process secret from the rest of Europe for nearly 100 years.
1528 – Hernán Cortés and his men return to Spain, bringing boxes of cocoa beans. It quickly becomes popular with the Spanish upper class who modernize the bitter drink by sweetening it with cane sugar and adding vanilla.
1600-1650 – The use of hot chocolate spreads throughout Europe and becomes the drink of choice in many dishes.
1657 – The first of many famous English chocolate houses opens the sale of hot chocolate.
1685 – Treatise on coffee, tea and chocolate published by the French chemist Dufour, entitled “Traitez nouveaux & curieux du café du thé et du chocolate”.
Circa 1700 – The cocoa milling process is mechanized with a steam engine and manual methods of making chocolate give way to mass production. By 1730, the price of chocolate has dropped dramatically to the point that it is affordable for the average person.
1765 – The first American chocolate factory was built in New England.
1826 – Earliest known reference to chocolate candies in the UK in an advertisement for Fry’s Chocolate Lozenges.
1828 – The cocoa press was invented, further reducing the prices of chocolate and improving the quality of hot chocolate by removing some of the cocoa butter naturally found in the beans.
1842 – Solid “Eating Chocolate” is first introduced by John Cadbury. Its production was made possible by the development of dark chocolate, a smoother variety that almost completely replaced the old coarse-grained chocolate that used to dominate the world market.
1875 – In Vevey, Switzerland, Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle revolutionize chocolate by adding milk and creating the first milk chocolate.
1894 – Hershey Chocolate Company begins producing coatings for baking chocolate, cocoa and sweet chocolate for caramel.
2020 – Dusk Chocolate starts producing high-quality chocolates from carefully selected cocoa beans. ☺
2021 – Eco Valley Spain and Dusk Chocolate start working together to bring the best dark chocolates to Spain. ☺
Chocolate lovers welcome! ☺
[Source: Dusk Chocolate web. Thanks Mike! ☺]