The Complete History of Chocolate (Cacao) Through the Ages
What happened to chocolate through history?
Many cultures have made chocolate as part of their traditions. Cocoa was believed to strengthen faith, improve health, provide strength, and contribute to romance and passion. Previously only available to upper castes and royal families, now it is accessible to everyone.
Cocoa powder is supposed to originate from the Amazon and to be 4000 years old.
600, Maya civilization-
The Mayans called the cacao tree cacahuaquchtl, which meant “tree.” The word chocolate comes from the Mayan word xocóatl which means “bitter water”. In Mayan culture, cocoa pods symbolize life and fertility. However, nothing was more important than that! They even painted cacao fruits on the walls of their palaces.
1000, Grain – Cash
The people of Central America used cacao beans as currency. For one Zontli you can get 400 cocoa beans, while for one Xiquipilli you can get 8000 beans.
1200, Aztec Civilization-
The Aztecs believed that cacao was given to them by God Quetzalcoatl, who stole the cacao tree from paradise. Mayans and Aztecs believed that it was a health elixir. They drink it cold and bitter. Sugar was unknown to the Aztecs, but they added various flavors like hot peppers and even flour! The Aztecs believed that wisdom and strength come from eating this fruit. His emperor Moctezuma loved the cocoa drink, so every day he drank 50 cups.
1492, return of Columbus-
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella received many unknown and wonderful things from Columbus. However, they were not interested in the dark cocoa beans.
1513, Purchase of Slavs-
Hernando de Oviedo Valdez, a member of the Pedrarias Ávila expedition, reported that he bought slaves for 100 cocoa beans, prostitutes and for 4 cocoa beans he got the rabbit, which they ate for dinner. Around the same time, and he adopted the name chocolatl drink from the words Maja xocoatl (chocolate) and Asteške word for water or hot drink.
1519 The Spanish Bank-
Hernando Cortés, who conquered the part of Mexico in 1519, tried cacao, but was not very enthusiastic about it. He was more interested in the value of cocoa as a means of payment. He immediately declared the cacao plantations under Spanish jurisdiction and began to “grow” money.
1528 Spanish secret-
Cortez presented cocoa beans to the Spanish court. He also had the equipment to make chocolate.
Cortés mixed the bitter drink with sugar and it soon became very popular with the Spanish. They also added different flavors like cinnamon, vanilla, etc. The Spanish kept the secret of chocolate, about 100 years from the rest of the world! But it was no secret that enjoying chocolate worked as an aphrodisiac.
1544, Dominican monks-
Spanish monks, entrusted with processing the cocoa beans, finally divulge a secret. Not long after, chocolate spread throughout Europe as a delicacy and health food.
1569, Church of Rome-
Pope Pius V did not like chocolate. However, he allowed it to be drunk only on Fridays.
1579, English pirates-
English pirates who robbed Spanish ships with cocoa, burned cocoa beans because they thought they were the wreckage of the ship.
1585, Chocolate in the Market-
The first ship with cocoa sold on the market in Spain in 1587.
1609, Chocolate reaches literature-
The first fully dedicated book came from Mexico.
1615 Fruitful marriage-
Ana of Austria, daughter of the Spanish King Felipe II, married Louis XIII and gave him chocolate.
1657 first time in London-
A Frenchman opened the first chocolate shop in London. London’s chocolate houses became a meeting place for a new London luxury elite. The first house of chocolate is advertised as a great drink from the West Indies.
1662 Rome had a different opinion-
The Roman Church pronounced chocolate as a magic potion. Cardinal Brancaccio said “liquidum non frangit jejunum” which means that chocolate is not for use”. However, consumers did not attach any importance to it. Only during Holy Week was the consumption of chocolate allowed.
1670, The fate of a traveler-
The helmsman Pedro Bravo do los Camerinos decided to break with navigation and research, so he settled in the Philippines, where he spent the rest of his life cultivating cocoa plantations. Thus his foundations were the largest plantation at that time.
1671 happy accident-
While the Duke of Plesslis-Praslin was waiting for his dessert, an accident occurred in the kitchen. When they served him sugar-coated almonds, he liked them so much he named them after him. Since then this sweet has undergone many changes but the original name has been maintained.
1674 Required Cookies –
London Coffee shop Mill and Tobacco Roll serving chocolate chip cookies and chocolate rolls.
In November 1667, Brazil obtained the first cocoa plantation in the country.
The appearance of chocolate in Germany caused Frederick I of Prussia to introduce taxes on it. So chocolate was taxed as an imported product. Everyone who wanted to enjoy chocolate had to pay a permit.
1711 Chocolate arrives in Vienna-
Emperor Charles VI moved his palace from Madrid to Vienna. So chocolate also made its way to the blue Danube.
1720 Italian Masters-
The Italian confectionery of Florence and Venice earned a reputation thanks to chocolate and its masters were welcomed in France, Germany and Switzerland.
1730 Mass Production-
With the advent of steam power, the cocoa processing mechanism was sped up.
1747 Frederick III of Prussia-
Frederick the Great forbids the chocolate trade in his kingdom. Whoever wanted to trade in chocolate had to pay a high price, so only the rich could consume it.
1755 Chocolate came to America-
relatively late, certainly not before 1755, chocolate arrived in America
1765 America’s first chocolate makers: established somewhere around New England.
1780 Spain again-
The first machines for the production of chocolate were manufactured in Barcelona.
1792 factory in Berlin-
In Germany, the Josty brothers opened a chocolatier and boomed selling Swiss chocolate. Later, they opened the factory in Berlin.
1797 Always carry chocolate with you-
Goethe did not trust Swiss hoteliers and whenever he was traveling he carried a luggage full of chocolate.
1800 The industrialization of Chocolate-
Antoine Brutus Menier built the first industrial machinery for the manufacture of chocolate.
The chocolate we know today was created thanks to the Dutchman Conrad J. van Houten, who in 1828 patented a hydraulic press to crush cocoa beans from which cocoa powder was created.
1847 the real chocolate
In 1847 the Englishman Joseph Fry discovered that cocoa powder can be mixed with sugar and melted cocoa butter. That was the first finished chocolate candy, which gained great popularity all over the world.
The Swiss Daniel Peter has experimented with milk as an ingredient in chocolate, which is why in 1875 he made the first milk chocolate. Like the best craftsmen in chocolate making, the Swiss have perfected their production. For this reason, in 1879 Rudolf Lindt (Lindt is one of the most famous chocolate factories) made a chocolate that melts in the mouth, the “chocolate fondant” in which we enjoy today.
Chocolate Exhibition of 1849-
The first exhibition was held in Birmingham, England.
1875 The era of milk chocolate-
After eight years of experimentation, Daniel Peter offered his first milk chocolate. Henri Nestlé improved the production of milk chocolate and applied his invention: condensed milk.
1900 The Change in Leadership-
Spain, which was the first to introduce chocolate in Europe, fell into oblivion. The Germans consumed the most chocolate, followed by the Americans, French and British. However, Switzerland has become the most important country in the production of chocolate.
Filled chocolates 1913-
Jules Sechaud of Montreux, Switzerland invented the chocolate filling process.
1938 World War II-
The United States government has noted the important role of chocolate in the military. Ships were reserved for chocolate, which gave soldiers strength and courage. Today, each soldier receives 3 to 4 ounces of chocolate.