History of Chocolate

Forget Love....I would rather fall in chocolate! If this is your favorite quote we are very sure you will be celebrating Chocolate Day this year by.....having an extra piece of chocolate! Yes, July 7th 2016 is chocolate day and Wicked Spoon Confessions thinks its a good day to know a little history about these sweet treats.



Also known as “food of the gods”, chocolate has a history that is a mind boggling 4,000-year old. Many of us know the common types of chocolate available in the market like dark chocolate with more cocoa % & loaded with health benefits, milk chocolate ( its not actually real chocolate), centre filled chocolate, a hot cup of cocoa & more! But in the early 1900 B.C. chocolate was consumed as a bitter beverage rather than as a sweet magical mouthful. The Mayans of Central America known to be the first who cultivated cocoa plants in the tropical rain forests of Central America fermented, roasted and ground the beans into a thick paste and mixed it with water, vanilla, chili peppers & other spices to brew a frothy drink, they called as “xocolatl” which means bitter water.



During the Aztec domination in the 14th century, their craving for the famed cocoa beans, which could not grow in dry highlands led to a flourishing trade with the Mayans. The cacao beans have also been used as currency in the 1500s by Aztecs & has been used to buy food, clothes, gifts & more! Money grew on trees for the Aztecs! Some tales talk about the 16th-century Aztec emperor Montezuma indulging in drinking huge quantities of chocolate to increase his libido.



In ancient days, across cultures, chocolate was enjoyed as an invigorating drink, mood enhancer and an aphrodisiac too. Some cultures believed that it possessed mystical and spiritual qualities & reserved it for rulers, warriors, priests and nobles at sacred ceremonies except the Mayans, who enjoyed chocolate irrespective of their social status.




A symbol of luxury, chocolate in earlier days has been called "jocolatte", "jacolatte", "chockelet & the Spanish sweetened this bitter drink with cane sugar and cinnamon. When the daughter of Spanish King Philip III wed French King Louis XIII in 16th century, she brought her love of chocolate with her to France & other parts of Europe.




It was the revolutionary method introduced by a Dutch chemist in 1828 involving a cocoa press that made chocolate available to masses! In 1847, British chocolate company J.S. Fry & Sons created the first solid edible chocolate bar followed by many advance techniques that allowed for the mass production of chocolate. Who does not know the famed Cadbury, Mars and Hershey families that that ushered in a chocolate era that we love till date?
 


Our love for chocolate continues till date with more than $75 billion worldwide spends on chocolate annually. The compounds found in dark chocolate with 70 % cocoa or more has several health benefits & may prevent diabetes, strokes, aid & weight loss, cure cough & much more! So go on...enjoy this delicious treat in a wrapper, but remember moderation is the key!

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