Have you ever wondered how chocolate came to be? Well, chocolate dates back approximately 4,000 years! We start our chocolately journey in 1900 B.C, where Mesoamericans in Central America first used cacao beans. The Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs mashed down the cacao beans and used it to create a beverage. Cocoa beans were so highly valued that they were even used as a form of currency amongst the different Mesoamerican tribes.
Let’s now flash forward to the 1500’s, when Spanish explorers landed in Central America. Originally in search of gold and silver riches, they happened to stumble upon the magical cacao plant. They were amazed to see how the Native Americans used this incredibly flavorful plant. Two methods include cups of hot, creamy cocoa with a spicy kick, or bitter, raw cacao nibs. Cacao beans ended up being exported back to Europe, where they were only consumed by the rich and royal. It was not until the creation of the steam engine at the end of the 17th century that chocolate was able to become available to the vast majority in Europe.
Then, something amazing happened! Dutch chemist, Coenraad Johannes van Houten, created a cocoa press in 1828. This allowed him to make powered chocolate and the solid bar of chocolate was born! The first solid bar of chocolate, as we know it today, first appeared in a British chocolate company shop called J.S Fry & Sons. It was from this point on that other chocolate companies erupted at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century. Such companies include Lindt Chocolate, Cadbury, Mars, and of course Hershey.
So enough of us talking about chocolate, it’s now time to make some delicious chocolate creations: