the history of chocolate
Clubs of America | Feb 03, 2014
History of chocolate Order-ID: 9358441 The History of Chocolate The history of chocolate is a long one. In the past, it has been used as a currency as well as an aphrodisiac. When it was first discovered by Europeans, they thought it had mystical powers that would help the elite strengthen their rule over the masses. The supposed powers of chocolate are the reason why it has become so popular on Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate Was First Discovered More Than 2,000 Years Ago
The Olmec people of the ancient Americas were the first to discover the cocoa bean almost two millennia ago. Centuries later, the Aztec elites used it to seduce others while the common people would use it as a form of currency. Priests would use cocoa beans as a sacrifice to the gods and drink liquified cocoa during religious ceremonies. On the other side of the world, Roman men used chocolate as a way to seduce the women they were interested in. It was thought to be a rich, over-the-top gift that no female would be able to resist.
The Industrial Revolution and Chocolate
The Industrial Revolution created the technology that made it possible to produce hard chocolate that lasted longer. Over time, new inventions allowed for the creation of many of the chocolate items that are available today. The invention of milk chocolate in 1875 led to increased popularity of the food in Europe. To further enhance the connection between chocolate and romance, chocolates were put into heart-shaped boxes and sold inexpensively to the masses.
The United States Government Gives Soldiers Cocoa
In the late 1930s, the United States government gave soldiers a ration of chocolate to help keep up their strength and to keep up morale. Today, soldiers who are away from home are routinely sent care packages with chocolate chip cookies and other goodies. Astronauts are also given chocolate as part of their diet when they are in space.
Chocolate Is Produced Throughout the World
Although chocolate was first discovered in South America, the majority of the world’s chocolate production comes from Africa. It is estimated that the largest amount of cocoa is grown in the nation of Ivory Coast. However, Switzerland and the United States still produce and refine many of the chocolate products available on the market.
The next time you eat a candy bar or drink hot cocoa, you can now appreciate the history and hard work it took to provide you with that delicious treat. While it may seem easy to make a cup of hot cocoa now, it took thousands of years of experimentation to make something that tastes great and lasts long enough to get from the cocoa plant to your mug.