A tiny history of chocolate

Let’s start at the beginning: what do we mean when we say the word chocolate? Early on, it referred to a combination of only two elements – cocoa beans and sugar. The product was so fascinating and sought after by the ancient inhabitants of Mexico that they explained its existence through a legend, which says that the god Quetzalcoatl gave this tree to mankind as a gift. For the Europeans it was not much different, as they baptized the cocoa tree with a Greek name meaning “food of the gods.” The Mayas even used cocoa beans as currency. Can you imagine the dilemma of being tempted to eat your money?

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Chocolate was only consumed as a drink until the 1830s when technological advances allowed for other types of processing, which gave us the iconic chocolate bar. Over time, this in turn gave rise to a myriad of Willy Wonka-like inventions, such as bonbons, chocolate covered candies, and much more. Diversity and creativity knew no bounds, and still don’t. Today, there is no place in the world where chocolate is not consumed and it is only the rare person who does not enjoy its taste.

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White chocolate didn’t come about until 1930, although some believe that it’s not actually chocolate at all, since chocolate requires two ingredients – cocoa butter, which is extracted from the presses, and solid cocoa. White chocolate only has the butter. So now you know, the more cocoa your chocolate has, the closer you are to consuming this food of the gods.

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