Who first inwented chocolate?
• United States
24 Sep 07
Chocolate came from the cocoa beans found in South America. The Aztec Indian rulers drank it. The explorer Cortez or Columbas took the bean back to Europe. Where it became popular. Then it has evolved into what we have today.
12 Jan 08
from http://www.fieldmuseum.org/chocolate/history.html The tasty secret of the cacao (kah KOW) tree was discovered 2,000 years ago in the tropical rainforests of the Americas. The pods of this tree contain seeds that can be processed into chocolate. The story of how chocolate grew from a local Mesoamerican beverage into a global sweet encompasses many cultures and continents. The first people known to have made chocolate were the ancient cultures of Mexico and Central America. These people, including the Maya and Aztec, mixed ground cacao seeds with various seasonings to make a spicy, frothy drink. Later, the Spanish conquistadors brought the seeds back home to Spain, where new recipes were created. Eventually, and the drink’s popularity spread throughout Europe. Since then, new technologies and innovations have changed the texture and taste of chocolate, but it still remains one of the world’s favorite flavors. Chocolate’s Roots in Ancient Mesoamerica We tend to think of chocolate as a sweet candy created during modern times. But actually, chocolate dates back to the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica who drank chocolate as a bitter beverage. For these people, chocolate wasn’t just a favorite food—it also played an important role in their religious and social lives. The ancient Maya grew cacao and made it into a beverage. The first people clearly known to have discovered the secret of cacao were the Classic Period Maya (250-900 C.E. [A.D.]). The Maya and their ancestors in Mesoamerica took the tree from the rainforest and grew it in their own backyards, where they harvested, fermented, roasted, and ground the seeds into a paste. When mixed with water, chile peppers, cornmeal, and other ingredients, this paste made a frothy, spicy chocolate drink. The Aztecs adopted cacao. By 1400, the Aztec empire dominated a sizeable segment of Mesoamerica. The Aztecs traded with Maya and other peoples for cacao and often required that citizens and conquered peoples pay their tribute in cacao seeds—a form of Aztec money. Like the earlier Maya, the Aztecs also consumed their bitter chocolate drink seasoned with spices—sugar was an agricultural product unavailable to the ancient Mesoamericans. Drinking chocolate was an important part of Maya and Aztec life. Many people in Classic Period Maya society could drink chocolate at least on occasion, although it was a particularly favored beverage for royalty. But in Aztec society, primarily rulers, priests, decorated soldiers, and honored merchants could partake of this sacred brew. Chocolate also played a special role in both Maya and Aztec royal and religious events. Priests presented cacao seeds as offerings to the gods and served chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies. Cacao Becomes an Expensive European Import Europe’s first contact with chocolate came during the conquest of Mexico in 1521. The Spaniards recognized the value attached to cacao and observed the Aztec custom of drinking chocolate. Soon after, the Spanish began to ship cacao seeds back home. An expensive import, chocolate remained an elite beverage and a status symbol for Europe’s upper classes for the next 300 years. Sweetened chocolate became an international taste sensation. When the Spanish brought cacao home, they doctored up the bitter brew with cinnamon and other spices and began sweetening it with sugar. They managed to keep their delicious drink a Spanish secret for almost 100 years before the rest of Europe discovered what they were missing. Sweetened chocolate soon became the latest and greatest fad to hit the continent. Chocolate was a European symbol of wealth and power. Because cacao and sugar were expensive imports, only those with money could afford to drink chocolate. In fact, in France, chocolate was a state monopoly that could be consumed only by members of the royal court. Like the Maya and the Aztecs, Europeans developed their own special protocol for the drinking of chocolate. They even designed elaborate porcelain and silver serving pieces and cups for chocolate that acted as symbols of wealth and power. Cacao farming required lots of land and workers. Cacao and sugar were labor-intensive agricultural products. To keep up with the demand for chocolate, Spain and many other European nations established colonial plantations for growing these plants. A combination of wage laborers and enslaved peoples were used to create a plantation workforce.
11 Oct 07
It wasn't really invented. Chocolate traces it's root from the Mayan Civilation. It's originally reserved for the Kings and Royalty and is usually drank with chili as added flavorings. As for the modern bar that we know now, I think it's Hershey at started it all. (I'm not one hundred percent sure, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)
• United States
24 Sep 07
Chocolate was not invented, it was discovered. Some scientists say the Aztecs and Mayans first used the cacao bean, and some say it was the Olmecs. King Montezuma drank golden goblets of ground cacao and spices daily, believing it was 'the food of the gods'. Hernando Cortez was the first European to discover the cacao bean. He brought it back from Central America to Spain around 1519. Chocolate was consumed as beverage for centuries in Europe. The Spainards first added sugar to the drink. In the 1600's the rest of Europe learned the secret Spanish recipes.