Where does Chocolate come from?

Where does Chocolate come from? By Megan Fairley, Chocolate Queen www.meganfairley.co.nz

From Latin America to the modern day, chocolate has come a long way to get to you. Intrigued? From where did chocolate originate to how it became the gorgeous Megan Fairley Gift Boxes we enjoy today, join us for a journey through the fascinating history of chocolate, the world’s favourite sweet treat...

Who invented chocolate? Chocolate’s 4,000-year history began in ancient Mesoamerica, present day Mexico. It’s here that the first cacao plants were found. The Olmec, one of the earliest civilisations in Latin America, were the first to turn the cacao plant into chocolate. They drank their chocolate during rituals and used it as medicine.

Centuries later, the Mayans praised chocolate as the drink of the gods. Mayan chocolate was a revered brew made of roasted and ground cacao seeds mixed with chillies, water and cornmeal. Mayans poured this mixture from one pot to another, creating a thick foamy beverage called “xocolatl”, meaning “bitter water.”
By the 15th century, the Aztecs used cocoa beans as currency. They believed that chocolate was a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl, and drank it as a refreshing beverage, an aphrodisiac, and even to prepare for war.

Chocolate reaches Spain No one knows for sure when chocolate came to Spain. Legend has it that explorer Hernán Cortés brought chocolate to his homeland in 1528. Cortés was believed to have discovered chocolate during an expedition to the Americas. In search of gold and riches, he instead found a cup of cocoa given to him by the Aztec emperor. When Cortés returned home, he introduced cocoa seeds to the Spanish. Though still served as a drink, Spanish chocolate was mixed with sugar and honey to sweeten the naturally bitter taste. Chocolate quickly became popular among the rich and wealthy. Even Catholic monks loved chocolate and drank it to aid religious practices.

Chocolate seduces Europe The Spanish kept chocolate quiet for a very long time. It was nearly a century before the treat reached neighbouring France, and then the rest of Europe. In 1615, French King Louis XIII married Anne of Austria, daughter of Spanish King Phillip III. To celebrate the union, she brought samples of chocolate to the royal courts of France. Following France’s lead, chocolate soon appeared in Britain at special “chocolate houses”. As the trend spread through Europe, many nations set up their own cacao plantations in countries along the equator. 

In 1828, the invention of the chocolate press revolutionised chocolate making. This innovative device could squeeze cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans, leaving a fine cocoa powder behind. The powder was then mixed with liquids and poured into a mould, where it solidified into an edible bar of chocolate. And just like that, the modern era of chocolate was born. 

 

Modern Chocolate Queen The Chocolate Queen rose from the heart break of the closure of Cadbury’s Dunedin, New Zealand.  The love of Chocolate and having experienced an incredible kind, loving & fun culture is what inspires this Chocolate to share even more Chocolate with you!!  

 

Chocolate Queen & King products are available at both www.notionfashion.co.nz & www.meganfairley.co.nz

 

 

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