The Origin of Happy Hormones: What is the History of Chocolate
Chocolates, chocolates, chocolates! Delicious, delectable, sweet, bitter, nutty, creamy, soothing, calming… how else can we describe chocolate? Who wouldn’t love these sweet confections?! Chocolates are easily accessible at any grocery stores world wide. People of all ages and gender definitely love chocolates. Not only is it delectable, it also has its share of health benefits for its patrons. But do you know where that bar of chocolate or that cup of chocolate drink came from? Here is something that can let you catch a glimpse of chocolate’s history.
Remnants of Chocolates Found in Mexico
History knew the existence of chocolate due to the remnants found in some jars in Mexico. This dates back to as far as 1100 B.C. It wasn’t a bar then as we know it now. The ancients used chocolate as alcoholic beverage to combat fatigue. Yes, very different from what we know chocolate to be is now.
In the latter part of chocolate history, cocoa beans from cacao plant were introduced by Christopher Columbus to the King of Spain. Decades after, Aztec Indians were found to use these cocoa beans in making chocolatl—a drink being served to guests of the King in ceremonial glasses. Chocolatl, at this point, was treated as a divine drink. It is also seen to fight fatigue. It used to be bitter and later on honey and cane sugar was added to sweeten it.
Chocolate Drink Evolved in Spain
The drink continued to evolve in Spain. Several other spices such as vanilla or cinnamon were added to improve its flavor. The popularity of the drink motivated the Spaniards to plant cocoa trees and kept the recipe a secret for a long time. However, as any good food, the recipe eventually became known to other parts of Europe.
Chocolate, at first, was restricted to the noble people. It was even used as an engagement present to some royalty figures. Chocolate was seen to promote romance. Eventually, the drink was no longer restricted to a few. Stores were opened that offered drinks to the public.
The Very First Chocolate Factory
The first Chocolate Factory was hailed in New England. Manual labor has been the main creator of chocolate until the Industrial Revolution came. It was not far from this point when mass production of chocolate began with the invention of the cocoa press that made the grinding of beans faster, easier and more improved.
In the 1800s several improvements made chocolate better and better—chocolate in solid form was born and milk was added to make chocolate creamier. This was the start of the more common chocolate bars and milk chocolates.
Chocolate through the Years
Innovative people, who have found their passion in improving chocolate, has added more variations, flare and spice to our good old chocolate bar. As we know today, chocolate takes many different forms, shapes, flavors and additives. Chocolate, as a flavor, is no longer confined to bars or drinks. We can find an endless array of products with chocolate such as ice creams, cakes and candies.
As it is, chocolate has been one of the biggest industries in the very corporate and global world that we have now. It has established a stable market that doesn’t know age. Now that you know the history of chocolate, next time you grab a bar of chocolate or drink a cup of chocolate drink, imagine first that what you are enjoying was once just for the nobilities and royalties.