How Chocolate Was Made
If you can not imagine a life without chocolate, you’re lucky that you were not born before the 16th century! Until then, chocolate existed only in Mesoamerica (a region that encompasses part of today’s central Mexico, to northeastern Costa Rica) in a form that is quite different from what we know today. The people of that area learned about the 1900s before the new era to prepare the beans of cocoa tree. The earliest data tells us that the grain was minced and mixed with corn flour and chilli powder, in order to make a certain drink. This drink was nothing like today’s relaxing cup of sweet, hot cocoa, it was already a bitter and thick drink with lots of foam.
If you think chocolate is important today, it was even more important in Mesoamerica. The Mesoamericans thought that the cocoa beans were the divine food that human beings donated to the divine, feathered being, known to Miami as Kukulkan, and the Aztec Quetzalcoatl. Astecs used cocoa beans as a monetary currency, drank a cocoa bean on royal celebrations, gave it to the soldiers as a reward for success in battles and used in religious ceremonies.
END OF CHOCOLATE IN EUROPE
The first transatlantic chocolate event took place in 1519, when Hernan Cortez visited the court of Montezuma, in Tenochtitlan. Hernan’s captain of the ship recorded in his diary that Montezuma brought fifty golden cups of cocoa drink, and poured them into golden glasses. When colonizers returned with a large amount of this grain in Spain, missionaries attributed the apocalyptic reputation to cocoa.
At first, the bitter taste of cocoa beans and its composition made it suitable for the treatment of certain discomforts, such as disturbed abdomen. However, when mixed with honey, sugar or vanilla, you get a delicious dessert that quickly became popular in the Spanish court. Soon, there was no aristocratic home without this sweet drink. It was difficult to produce this drink in large proportions, and it took a lot of time, work on plantations and robbery, so it was expensive too.
THE INVENTION AS A BEAUTIFUL AND THE EVENT OF A MILK CHOCOLATE
The world of chocolate will greatly change in 1828, discovering a cocoa press, which was designed and conceived by Konrad Van Hauten in Amsterdam. His invention can extract natural fat, or cocoa butter from cocoa powder. This leaves the option of making cocoa powder a drink or mixing with cocoa butter, giving you a delicious, black chocolate, as we know it today. He also discovered that the addition of alkaline salts reduces chocolate fat. Shortly thereafter, Swiss delicatessen Daniel Piter added milk powder in a mixture of cocoa powder and butter, and thus formed a sweet, dairy chocolate.
MASSIVE MANUFACTURE OF THE CHOCOLATE
By the beginning of the 20th century, chocolate was no longer an elite delicacy, but became available to most people. This mass demand for chocolate has increased the needs of the production of cocoa beans, which can grow only near the equator. It is claimed that the Lombart Chocolate Factory, created in 1760, was the first production of chocolate in France. Lindt & Sprüngli AG, a Swiss company, started the production of chocolate in 1845. Other great chocolate names like Nestle, Hershey’s and Cadbury, began their chocolate production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Today, Côte d’Ivoire in Africa produces two-fifths of the world’s total cocoa supplies. Chocolate is a delicacy without which many of us can not imagine their day, cake or beverage.
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