>Lets face it it, almost everyone loves chocolate. But do we know where it comes from?
Recent discoveries in Belize, show that an early Mayan civilisation were consuming and preparing liquid cacao mixes as early as 600BC which makes hot chocolate the worlds oldest booze free beverage!
Around the early 1500’s, Montezuma II was on the throne as the Aztec leader, when the invading Spanish conquistadors led by Hernan Cortes arrived.
When Cortes arrived, the Aztecs assumed he was a long awaited god and presented the conquistadors with chocolatl, along with other gifts. The Spanish decided to take the cocoa to Spain where the consumption of chocolate in Europe begun.
Cocoa beans and cocoa pods were highly prized by the Aztecs and were used in ceremonies, including human sacrifices and was even used as currency. But it was mostly enjoyed as the hot chocolate drink made from maize and cocoa called chocolatl. Montezuma himself is famous for being known to drink up to 50 mugs a day.
Unfortunately for Montezuma, he met rather a sticky end. When his people realised that Cortes was not infact a God, they stoned him to death! But luckily for us European’s the Spanish conquistadors introduced cocoa to Europe on their return from Southern America.
In 1615 Anne of Austria (wife of Louis XIII) declared chocolate THE drink of the French court.
By 1640 Chocolate had found it’s way to England.
In 1657 chocolate becomes so popular that excessive duties are imposed on it, whichy remain for almost 200 years.
In 1828 Dutch chocolate maker Conrad J Van Houten created the hydrolic cocoa press which enabled him to crrush the cocoa nibs and turn them into paste and enabling him to extract cocoa butter.
In 1848 british chocolate maker Joseph Storrs Fry created the first eating chocolate.
And by 1875 a Swiss man by the name of Daniel Peter produced and marketed the first chocolate bar.
That’s your chocolate history lesson for the day! For a bit of a chocolate fix, why not try my recipe for White Chocolate Torte. Remember to pop back every day for more chocolate delights and make sure you get cooking so you can add your chocolate recipes to the Mr Linky on Friday.