Every time you bite into a piece of chocolate don’t you always wonder just who came up with this genius snack? Well, we’re here with the answer to your question and we are sure this is going to a life-changing read! But before we go down the road of history lessons, it is important to note that in fact chocolate wasn’t always considered the delicious treat that it is today, it was actually a bitter beverage and it went through years and years of change to be known for what it is today! Who knew chocolate could be philosophical?
Historians have found that the presence of chocolate dates back to 1900 BC in present-day Mexico. The Mesoamerican civilization was the first to grow the cocoa plants in the tropical rainforests of Central America. They came up with a chocolate drink in which they would add water, chili peppers, honey, vanilla and a grounded paste of cocoa beans. The Mesoamericans would grind the cocoa beans after they were fermented and roasted, you could say that this drink was the 1900 BC version of hot chocolate!
The unique qualities of chocolates led the Aztec, Mayan and the Olmec civilizations to believe that it had certain mystical and spiritual effects on the human brain. The Mayans even began to worship the cocoa god, in fact, chocolate was only offered to influential people and the ones in power. In the 14th century, when the Aztecs began to explore new lands, they exchanged cocoa beans as currency with the Mesoamericans. When the Spanish conquerors went out seeking silver and gold in Mexico and they returned with chocolate instead. Chocolate remained a Spanish secret until the daughter of Spanish King Philip III, married French King Louis XIII in 1615 and the secret traveled with her all the way till France. With this, the popularity of chocolate grew across Europe, after which the colonial rulers had sugar and cocoa plantations across their many colonies.
In the year 1828, a Dutch chemist by the name Johannes van Houten established a cocoa press that completely changed the way chocolate was made. This cocoa press was the beginning of chocolate as the confectionary delight that we know it for today!