The Food of Gods
Ever thought about how beautiful chocolate is? How when a piece of chocolate is placed in your mouth it begins to melt, the change in texture which is accompanied by a burst of flavors in the chocolate, makes it so magical and divine.
Chocolate is produced from the seeds of the cacao plant also known as Theobroma cacao, Which in Greek means “Food of the Gods”. The first to cultivate the cacao tree around 4,000 years ago was The Olmecs, they then passed it on to The Maya, which was then passed on to the Aztecs.
Roasting the seeds and grinding them with perfection to make flavored drinks like Vanilla, Chili, Flowers, and honey was an art, done by the Aztecs. These were then served at religious ceremonies. Chocolate found its way back to Europe when Columbus carried the beans to Spain. Eventually, more flavors were made by the Europeans. Until the early 18th century, chocolate was served only as a beverage across the world. The beverage was described as “oily” due to the high-fat content in the cacao seeds. Several methods were used to make it less oily until, in 1828, Coenraad van Houten from Amsterdam used a screw press that removed most of the cacao butter.
It wasn’t late until the chocolatiers found out that the fat could be added to powdered cacao beans to make them solid. This marks the beginning of the production of chocolate bars in 1847. Most of them were varieties of Dark chocolate and no Milk chocolate of any kind was produced.
In the 1800s, the production of milk powder was started by Henri Nestlé, and this powder was soon mixed with dark chocolates, to make milk chocolate.
Rudolf Lindt, invented conche, the machine that grinds the chocolate ingredients for hours and even days to make a very fine texture.
Over the period of time with the improvements of machines, chocolate underwent a transformation from primarily a drink to food, and different types of chocolates began to emerge.