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History of Chocolate

  • Category: Food
  • Topic: Chocolate
  • Page: 1
  • Words: 637
  • Published: 19 November 2018
  • Downloads: 69
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History of Chocolate essay
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There are not many foods that people completely adore, chocolate being one them. It being so creamy and decadent, it’s not hard to understand why it’s so adored! All though it may seems like there’s not much to know about chocolate, there’s a whole world out there about the tasty treat’s production, history and it’s significance to people that the majority of us don’t know about. Read further to uncover chocolates huge impact on the human race itself.

History of Chocolate

Chocolate may be the “food of the gods,” but for most of its 4,000-year history, it was consumed as a bitter drink rather than as a sweet edible treat. Anthropologists have found evidence that chocolate was produced by pre-Olmec cultures living in present-day Mexico as early as 1900 B.C! The ancient Mesoamericans who first cultivated cacao beans found in the rainforests of Central America fermented, roasted and ground them into a paste that they mixed with water, vanilla, honey, chili peppers and other spices to brew a chocolate drink.

Olmec, Mayan and Aztec civilizations found chocolate to be an energizing drink and mood enhancer, which led them to believe that it possessed mysterious and magical qualities. The Mayans worshipped a god of cacao, EK-CHUAH, 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, the heart of their civilization. The Aztecs traded with the Mayans for cacao beans, which were so sought after they were used as currency.

In the 1500s, Spanish explorers who sought gold and silver in Mexico returned instead with chocolate. The Spanish altered the bitter drink with cane sugar and cinnamon to make it sweeter, one thing remained unchanged, though; chocolate was still a delectable symbol of luxury, wealth and power. Chocolate was drunk by royals, and only Spanish elites could afford the expensive drink. Spain managed to keep chocolate a sweet secret for nearly a century, but when the daughter of the Spanish King, Philip III, wed French King Louis XIII in 1615, she brought her cravings for chocolate with her to France. The popularity of chocolate soon quickly spread to other European countries, and aristocrats consumed it as a magic elixir with tremendous benefits. To satiate their growing thirst for chocolate, European monarchies established plantations in equatorial regions around the world to grow cacao and sugar. When diseases brought by the European explorers reduced the native Mesoamerican population, slaves were imported to work on the plantations and maintain the production of chocolate.Chocolate remained an aristocratic elixir until the Dutch chemist, Coenraad Johannes van Houten, invented the cocoa press in 1828, which revolutionized chocolate-making. The cocoa press could squeeze the fatty cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans, leaving behind a dry clumps that could be pulverized into a fine powder that could be mixed with liquids and other ingredients, poured into molds and solidified into delicious chocolate. The innovation by van Houten brought in the modern era of chocolate by enabling it to be used as a confectionary ingredient. This resulted in chocolate having a hefty price drop so it could be bought by everyone.

In 1847, a British chocolate company known as J.S. Fry & Sons created the first solid edible chocolate bar from cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar. Rodolphe Lindt’s 1879 invention of the conching machine, which produced chocolate with a velvety texture and superior taste, and other advances allowed for the mass production of smooth, creamy milk chocolate on factory assembly lines. Many famous chocolate companies with familiar names such as Cadbury, Mars and Hershey that ushered in a boom in the chocolate market in the late 1800s and early 1900s that is still going strong.

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History of Chocolate. (2018, November 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 21, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/history-of-chocolate/
“History of Chocolate.” GradesFixer, 19 Nov. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/history-of-chocolate/
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