When American House Prices Began To Fall In 2007 The History Of Chocolate

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The History Of Chocolate

How chocolate became such a popular flavor

Chocolate is such a global super commodity that it deserves some research into its background and history. Well, to begin with, the history of chocolate begins with the domestic cultivation of cocoa plants by the Olmec Indians in 1500 BC. It’s not like they made handfuls of chocolate bars, packaged them in pretty cartons for sale in the open market. Their traditional method of using this amazing substance was to first dry it and then brew it, not the way we brew coffee now. This taste was only for the elite, not for the common man. However, history took a back seat here when a ship of cocoa beans was intercepted by Columbus who allegedly ordered the cargo destroyed on the assumption that it was not “sheep excrement”.

How Europe got its first taste of chocolate

However, Christopher Columbus corrected his mistake and brought the first shipment of cocoa beans to Spain after returning from the Americas. But not much was heard of cocoa or chocolate until some Spanish monks discovered the taste of cocoa beans in the form of a hot drink. Soon chocolate houses opened across Europe that served the drink to stinking rich customers. Grinding roasted cocoa beans was an expensive labor-intensive affair. During the 1700s, mechanized cocoa grinders appeared on the market, causing a drastic drop in the price of ground cocoa, the mother of all chocolate.

A chocolate trip across the Atlantic

By the late 1700s chocolate was sold in the form of cakes, rolls, and various chocolate-coated pastries and desserts. These delicacies were available in chocolate houses and wealthy homes in Europe. The company that started making chocolates on a large scale in America was called Baker’s Chocolate Company. This happened about 10 years before the start of the American Revolutionary War.

Chocolate gets its popularity from its own history

No other spice in recent history has been as popular as chocolate. Some thought it had medicinal values, and one of the reasons the Baker Chocolate Company in America flourished was because its products were believed to have therapeutic properties. A process known as “dutching” was invented in Amsterdam, in which the cocoa butter is removed from the chocolate resulting in a smooth texture in the still popular beverage form of chocolate.

Chocolate candy

It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that chocolate could be produced in a molded form, and thus chocolate candy was born. It was found that if “dutched” chocolate was sweetened and added back to cocoa butter, it became a deliciously sweet and moldable substance. And so what is known today as the chocolate bar was born. Both milk and Swiss chocolate candies followed suit. Valentine’s Day is a favorite occasion and when Cadbury came out with a heart shaped box of chocolates it was a huge success. Today we know how important an event was in the history of chocolate.

Chocolate and Modern America

Ever since the day chocolate set foot on American soil, people have fallen for it and created thousands of variations where chocolate is the main theme. The first published recipe for the beloved brownies appeared in a Sears Roebuck catalog at the end of the 19th century. The famous Hershey company has made millions just selling chocolate and so has Nestlé. The excitement grew so much that the Belgian confectioner opened the Godiva Chocolate Company in 1926 and, God bless them, they are all still doing well.

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