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Story of Chocolate

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Story of Chocolate

Post by bilinda on Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:13 pm

Chocolate Through the Years

The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins
with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at
all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite
of millions.
The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its
first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned
in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove
of many strange and wonderful things. Among these were a few dark brown
beans that looked like almonds and seemed most unpromising. They were cocoa
beans, today's source of all our chocolate and cocoa.
The King and Queen never dreamed how important cocoa beans
could be, and it remained for Hernando Cortez, the great Spanish explorer,
to grasp the commercial possibilities of the New World offerings.

Food of the Gods

During his conquest of Mexico, Cortez found the Aztec
Indians using cocoa beans in the preparation of the royal drink of the
realm, "chocolatl," meaning warm liquid. In 1519, Emperor Montezuma, who
reportedly drank 50 or more portions daily, served chocolatl to his Spanish
guests in great golden goblets, treating it like a food for the gods.
For all its regal importance, however, Montezuma's chocolatl
was very bitter, and the Spaniards did not find it to their taste. To make
the concoction more agreeable to Europeans, Cortez and his countrymen conceived
the idea of sweetening it with cane sugar.
While they took chocolatl back to Spain, the idea found
favor and the drink underwent several more changes with newly discovered
spices, such as cinnamon and vanilla. Ultimately, someone decided the drink
would taste better if served hot.
The new drink quickly won friends, especially among the
Spanish aristocracy. Spain wisely proceeded to plant cacao in its overseas
colonies, which gave birth to a very profitable business. Remarkably enough,
the Spanish succeeded in keeping the art of the cocoa industry a secret
from the rest of Europe for nearly a hundred years.

Chocolate Spreads to Europe

Spanish monks, who had been consigned to process the cocoa
beans, finally let the secret out. It did not take long before chocolate
was acclaimed throughout Europe as a delicious, health-giving food. For
a while it reigned as the drink at the fashionable Court of France. Chocolate
drinking spread across the Channel to Great Britain, and in 1657 the first
of many famous English Chocolate Houses appeared.
The hand methods of manufacture used by small shops gave
way in time to the mass production of chocolate. The transition was hastened
by the advent of a perfected steam engine, which mechanized the cocoa grinding
process. By 1730, chocolate had dropped in price from three dollars or
more per pound to within financial reach of all. The invention of the cocoa
press in 1828 reduced the prices even further and helped to improve the
quality of the beverage by squeezing out part of the cocoa butter, the
fat that occurs naturally in cocoa beans. From then on, drinking chocolate
had more of the smooth consistency and the pleasing flavor it has today.
The 19th Century marked two more revolutionary developments
in the history of chocolate. In 1847, an English company introduced solid
"eating chocolate" through the development of fondant chocolate, a smooth
and velvety variety that has almost completely replaced the old coarse
grained chocolate which formerly dominated the world market. The second
development occurred in 1876 in Vevey, Switzerland, when Daniel Peter
devised a way of adding milk to the chocolate, creating the product we

enjoy today known as milk chocolate.

Chocolate Comes to America

In the United States of America, the production of chocolate
proceeded at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world. It was in pre-Revolutionary
New England-1765, to be exact-that the first chocolate factory was established
in this country.
Chocolate has gained so much importance since that time,
that any interruption in its supply would be keenly felt. During
World War II, the U.S. government recognized chocolate's role in the nourishment
and group spirit of the Allied Armed Forces, so much so that it allocated
valuable shipping space for the importation of cocoa beans. Many soldiers
were thankful for the pocket chocolate bars which gave them the strength
to carry on until more food rations could be obtained. Today, the U.S.
Army D-rations include three 4-ounce chocolate bars. Chocolate has even
been taken into space as part of the diet of U.S. astronauts.


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Re: Story of Chocolate

Post by louli on Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:51 pm

Nice!.. even candies have a historical background!.. tell me about it wen kings & queens are involved!!!

thnx m8! very interestin topic.
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Re: Story of Chocolate

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:10 am

thanks a lot dear Bili.

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Re: Story of Chocolate

Post by Biba on Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:34 pm

Wow! delicious information just as chocolate . Thanks Bilinda!
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Re: Story of Chocolate

Post by cookie on Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:24 pm

thnx 4 this intrestting topic

u r so sweet just like chocolate
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Re: Story of Chocolate

Post by bilinda on Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:11 pm

Welcome mates. Cookie imagine how delicious you will be when we dunk u in chocolate.
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Re: Story of Chocolate

Post by Thewolf on Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:53 pm

I remember its taste before they added milk to it, it was great!
Thank you very much Bilinda, i thought it appeared in Africa!
WE ARE JUST EATTERS!
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