The history of chocolate
The ancient Maya grew cacao and made it into a beverage.
*The first people were the Maya who lived in South America about the time of Christ.
*They took the tree from the rainforest and grew it in their own backyards. They harvested,
fermented, roasted, and ground the seeds into a paste.
*The Maya mixed the cacao with water, chili peppers, cornmeal, and other ingredients. This
paste made a frothy, spicy chocolate drink.
The Aztecs loved cacao!
By 1400, the Aztec empire controlled much of Central and South America. The Aztecs traded
with Maya and other peoples for cacao. The beans were often used as a form of money.
Drinking chocolate was an important part of Maya and Aztec life.
Many people in Mayan society could drink chocolate. Usually it was saved for royalty rulers, priests, soldiers, and honored merchants were allowed this “sacred brew.”
During religious events priests presented cacao seeds as offerings to the gods and served
chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies.
Cacao Becomes an Expensive European Import
In 1521 the Spanish saw the Aztec Indian drinking chocolate. Soon after, the Spanish began to ship cacao
seeds back home to Spain.
Only Europe’s upper classes drank chocolate for the next 300 years.
Sweetened chocolate became an
international taste sensation!
When the Spanish brought cacao
home, they doctored up the bitter
brew with cinnamon and other
spices and began sweetening it
They managed to keep their
delicious drink a Spanish secret for
almost 100 years before the rest of
Europe discovered what they were
missing. Sweetened chocolate
soon became the latest and
greatest fad to hit the continent.
Chocolate was a European symbol of wealth and power.
Because cacao and sugar were expensive imports, only those with money could afford to
drink chocolate! In fact, in France, chocolate could only be drunk by members of the
Europeans developed their own special ways for drinking chocolate. They even designed
elaborate porcelain and silver serving pieces and cups for chocolate that acted as
symbols of wealth!
New inventions and ingredients improved chocolate’s
taste and texture.
The Industrial Revolution of the 1800s provided an enormous number of new mechanical
inventions. The steam engine made it possible to grind cacao and produce large amounts
of chocolate cheaply and quickly.
Later inventions like the cocoa press and the conching machine made it possible to create
smooth, creamy, solid chocolate for eating—not just liquid chocolate for drinking.
The first chocolate bar
…..is credited to Joseph Fry, who in 1847 discovered he
could make a moldable chocolate paste by adding melted
cacao butter back into Dutch cocoa. Adding milk and
sugar into the chocolate also improved the flavor.
1868 - Cadbury was marketing chocolate candies in
•Mr. Nestle also began making chocolates during this
And the rest is history!
Where in the world
Top countries for producing cacao beans.
The largest cacao producing countries are…
Does chocolate grow on
How is chocolate made?