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April 26, 2021
Chocolate is something we take for granted every day, but it wasn’t always like that. In fact, chocolate has a very rich (no pun intended) history and one that continues to stand out and evolve every day. With that being said here at the Awesome Hamper Company, we thought it was worth having a quick look back to see how chocolate has evolved over the years and how it still is one of the most appealing sweets out there - and why we all love it!
Please note that during the writing of this blog, we may have tried some of our favourite chocolates :)
Where did chocolate come from?
Believe it or not, the history of chocolate starts in Mesoamerica - bet you’ve never heard of it? Neither had we! It’s a historical region in North America. Some fermented beverages that were made from chocolate are dated 450 BC. People in that region believed that cacao seeds were a gift from the gods. They were also believed to be as an aphrodisiac. Chocolate was, at least in the beginning, prepared as a drink, so it was mostly found in a liquid format and mixed with some corn puree and some spices. The Mayan and Aztec people were known to use chocolate often, especially in the case of the high classes.
However, the modern history of chocolate starts when Christopher Columbus brought Cacao beans back from the new world in 1492. Spanish explorers got hold of the cocoa drinks and the first ones were brought to Europe in 1565 - and we’re pretty sure they’ve been enjoyed ever since!
The first true chocolate is created in 1606 when Antonio Carletti discovers chocolate in Spain and he takes it to Italy where cioccolatieri start creating great chocolate. It became so common that even Maria Theresa gave her fiancé an engagement gift made out of chocolate. The first chocolate recipe was published by a Spanish doctor named Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, and it was based on the original Aztec recipe, but with some additions.
The first chocolate factory is set up in Bristol, England, and it uses hydraulic machinery as the means to process Cacao beans. In 1732 Monsieur Dubuisson invents a table mill whose main purpose is to grind chocolate properly.
A very important step towards modern chocolate is made by Francois Louis Callier in 1819, since he is the one who opened the first Swiss chocolate Factory. Later on in 1828, Coenraad Van Houten invents the cocoa press that helps lower the fat content, while making it easier to prepare chocolate. That’s why we eventually get to have the first pressed chocolate tablets in 1840. They were created by a company Berwaerts that followed those guidelines and used that machine.
After the manufacturing process was pretty much set up, more and more companies started developing their own type of chocolate. The Milton Hershey started creating his own type of chocolate in 1900, with Arthur Ganong making the first nickel chocolate bar in 1910. An interesting concept was introduced in 1986, when Valrhona added the concept of having a single origin chocolate bar. Since then, more and more chocolate bars have appeared on the market. Nowadays, you can easily buy your own Luxury Chocolate Hampers and enjoy it, and it is a testament to the amazing history of chocolate and how much it has manage to evolve over the years. The great thing is that the industry is always changing, and that goes to show the dedication and commitment to excellence
Modern day classics include brands such as Cadburys, Galaxy, Lindt and Tonys. They have made hundreds of different bars and packets of chocolate that have been popular for decades. Here at The Awesome Hamper Company we have included as many of these popular brands as we can in our range of Chocolate Hampers that make for amazing gifts for friends or family. Please go check them out!
Below are two very interesting facts about chocolate;
- Did you know that
- The worldwide production of cocoa worldwide is over 4.7m tonnes each and every year!
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