There are some days that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t stop thinking about chocolate. What makes us love chocolate so much? Is it the flavor, or smooth texture that makes chocolate so addicting? There are days that I would love to just eat a full box of chocolate, especially a box of nuts and chews but then I think about my bottom line and the urge seems to lesson. These thoughts are ones you keep to yourself because you don’t want to be caught eating a full box of chocolate, especially if you don’t want to share.
Another chocolate urge is a great hot cup of cocoa, especially on the cold winter mornings or in some parts of the country even spring can be extremely chilly. The great taste of hot cocoa, melts away the worries of the day for a moment and for a minute you might even feel like a kid again. These simple pleasures not only satisfy the craving for the moment but it gives us a sense of satisfaction and control.
So where did Chocolate come from anyway? Ever wonder who the great inventor was that brought this delectable treat for us chocolate lovers to enjoy? As a kid you might have thought it was Willy Wonka or Mr. Hershey, but guess again.
Cocoa has been around for a very long time, here is a snap shot of where cocoa got it humble beginnings. Since 1500 BC-400 BC, The Olmec Indian are believed to be the first to grow cocoa beans as a domestic crop. In the 16th Century Europe, the Spanish began to add cane sugar and flavorings such as vanilla to their sweet cocoa beverages. In 1657, the first chocolate house was opened in London by a Frenchman. The shop was called “The Coffee Mill and Tobacco Roll”. Costing 10 to 15 shillings per pound, chocolate was considered a beverage for the elite class. In 1674, eating solid chocolate was introduced in the form of rolls and cakes, served in chocolate emporiums. In 1765, Chocolate was introduced to the United States when Irish chocolate-maker John Hanan imported cocoa beans from the West Indies into Dorchester, Massachusetts, to refine them with the help of American Dr. James Baker. The pair soon after built America’s first chocolate mill and by 1780, the mill was making the famous BAKER’S ® chocolate. In 1847, Joseph Fry & Son discovered a way to mix some of the cocoa butter back into the “Dutched” chocolate, and added sugar, creating a paste that could be molded. The result was the first modern chocolate bar. In 1849, Joseph Fry & Son and Cadbury Brothers displayed chocolates for eating at an exhibition in Bingley Hall, Birmingham, England. The history of cocoa and chocolate continues on.