History of Chocolate
When was it first made?
The first people to make chocolate were some of the most famous ancient civilizations of Mexico and Central America, including the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans. They mixed the crushed cocoa seeds with different type of seasonings, including chilies, to make a hot, spicy and frothy drink called ‘chocolatl’ which meant warm liquid.
When was it discovered by travellers?
According to the historians, Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer, had tasted this drink and had also brought some cocoa beans to Spain. Though Columbus discussed the possibility of using the cocoa beans commercially with the Spanish King and Queen, they somehow did not show any interest in it and the matter was put to rest.
When it became famous?
Some years later, Hernan Cortez, a Spanish explorer, happened to visit the Aztecs in Mexico. The Aztecs served him their royal drink ‘chocolatl’. Though the drink tasted slightly bitter, Cortez liked it very much and took some cocoa beans back with him to Spain. In order to make the drink sweeter, he added some cane sugar to it. This new drink soon became a rage in Spain, especially in the aristocratic section of the society. The Spanish then wisely started cocoa tree plantation which turned into an extremely profitable business. The Spanish people successfully kept the art of their cocoa plantations and royal drink a secret from the rest of the European countries for almost a hundred years.
It was the Spanish monks, who leaked the secret out and then what happened was bound to happen. Chocolate drinks became the most preferred beverage after tea and coffee in the entire world. Soon, other European countries also started developing their own cacao industry.
7 Interesting facts about chocolate
- The Aztecs and Mayans used chocolates as money to buy things.
- The Aztec kings drank more than tens of cups of hot chocolate in a day.
- In ancient times, chocolate was known as ‘food of Gods’.
- The early people only ‘drank’ chocolate; they did not ‘eat’ chocolate until the first chocolate bars were manufactured in Switzerland in the year 1819.
- Those who are exceptionally fond of eating chocolates are known as chocoholics.
- Just as caffeine is known to energize people, chocolates are believed to make people happy.
- The Chocolates contain a wide range of nutrients including vitamins such as Vitamin-B and minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron.
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