Chocolate is a food made from the seeds of the cacao tree.
It is used in many foods, including ice cream, cake, candy, and chocolate bars. Chocolate is also used as a flavouring in some coffees and other foods.
The word “chocolate” comes from the Aztec word “xocolatl”, which means “bitter water”. The Aztecs believed that chocolate was a gift from their god Quetzalcoatl.
Chocolate has been around for centuries. The first recorded use of chocolate was by the Maya people of Central America about 2,000 years ago. They drank it during religious ceremonies.
The first European to taste chocolate was Christopher Columbus. He brought cocoa beans back to Spain after his fourth voyage to the Americas in 1502.
In 1828, Dutch chemist Coenraad van Houten invented a process for making powdered cocoa solids called Dutching or alkalising. This made chocolate cheaper and more popular. Van Houten also invented the cocoa press, which removed much of the fat (cocoa butter) from cocoa powder to make it easier to mix with water and milk.
In 1847, British chocolatier Joseph Fry discovered how to make solid chocolate by adding melted cacao butter back into Dutch-processed cocoa powder. His company, J.S.Fry & Sons, began mass producing chocolate in 1866.
Swiss confectioner Henri Nestlé developed milk soluble powdered baby formula in 1867. In 1905, he merged his company with Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, which already owned Peter Cailler & Kohler Swiss Chocolates. The new company was called Nestlé Milk Chocolate Company Ltd, later shortened to Nestlé SA.
In 1907, American candy maker Milton Hershey bought a German machine that could efficiently mass produce milk chocolate using condensed milk instead of fresh milk. Hershey’s Kisses were introduced in 1907, followed by Hershey Bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in 1923 and 1928 respectively. Today, Hershey Foods Corporation is North America’s largest producer of quality chocolate products.
Here are ten fun facts about chocolate:
1. The first chocolate bar was created in England in 1847 by Joseph Fry.
2. The largest chocolate bar in the world weighed in at 551 pounds and was made by Thorntons in 2011.
3. Chocolate can be good for your health! Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and can help improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
4. According to a study, eating chocolate can improve your memory.
5. Chocolate is made from cacao beans (the seeds of the cacao tree), which are native to Central and South America.
6. Cacao beans were so valuable that they were once used as currency.
7. Chocolate is the most popular flavour in the world.
8. Every year, Americans collectively eat over 3 billion pounds of chocolate.
9. The world’s first chocolate factory was opened in Switzerland in 1875.
10. There are approximately 400 compounds found in just one ounce of dark baking chocolate.