Do you know who invented chocolate? Have you ever wondered how this sweet concoction in many cookies, cakes, and its own sweet variations really started?
The Cacao (Cocoa) Beans
Dating back to 1500 BC, during those early Mesoamerican civilizations, Olmec Indians grew cacao beans. Perhaps, from this info, you would think that this was the first taste of chocolate in those times. Were the Indians the ones who invented chocolate?
Actually, according to history, it was the Mayans and the Aztecs who developed these beans into chocolate drinks. Aside from the Indians, these groups were also known to grow these beans.
Another historical figure that you may want to thank is Christopher Columbus. In the early 1500s, Columbus brought those cocoa beans to Europe. During that time, chocolate drinks spread throughout Spain.
But it didn’t become an instant hit in other parts of Europe immediately. It took a hundred years later before people from various regions in Europe tasted the drinks.
Progress and Popularity
A Frenchman opened a shop that served as London’s first chololate house in 1657. It was named The Coffee Mill and Tobacco Roll. Since the cost for the the chocolate beverage was too expensive, loyal patrons of the shop were merely from the upper class of society.
In 1674, chocolate was used for another type of business. It became a main ingredient in making cakes and rolls.
But the progress of chocolate didn’t stop there.
Monsieur Dubuisson of France took its popularity another notch higher. This was clearly achieved in those days when Dubuisson invented a table mill in 1732 which was known to help grind chocolate.
Another invention by Joseph Fry of England also made chocolate gain more popularity. Fry’s invention created another milestone with the steam engine used to grind the cocoa beans. And paved the way for a larger scope in its manufacture.
In 1929, a hydraulic press was invented to create cocoa powder. This invention was created by Dutchman Conrad J. van Houten. This process is still being used but is now called as “Dutching.”
During 1847, Fry and Sons also invented the modern chocolate bar. They later merged with Cadbury who considers the first chocolate bar not very palatable as indicated in the Cadbury’s online site.
With all those helpful machines doing the work faster and making more chocolate for people, the chocolate industry rose to greater heights.
Still, there were other clever inventions that followed.
One of these is Richard Cadbury’s first ever heart-shaped box meant for Valentine’s Day in the year 1861. And another is the first milk chocolate produced by Daniel Peters from a recipe invented years before by Henri Nestle.
Another process that assisted in the chocolate production is the invention of Rudolphe Lindt called as “conching.” This was used to make chocolate more blendable.
From the simple beginnings that still do not have a clear notion on the real facts on who invented chocolate, you could see that chocolate came a long way. With all the inventions and processes added to make sure that the chocolate industry will continue to produce more chocolate for those who love its sweet delicious taste, the blurry past that marked the beginnings may merely end up in mystery. Even so, no matter how it had all begun, many people will probably be thankful for that mysterious point in history because they are enjoying the fruits nowadays of what was sown during that shadowy past.