Brief History of Chocolate
The oldest traces of chocolate were found by scientist on pottery excavated from the vHonduran jungle and date as far back as 1400BC. Initially, chocolate was consumed in a bitter liquid form named ‘xocoatl’.
The Spanish explorer Hernan Cortès conquered part of Mexico in the 16th century. At his arrival he was mistaken for the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, whose return was expected by the population. The colonials were soon convinced of the great nutritional value and the medicinal powers of the cocoa bean. Spain kept the secret of cocoa from the rest of Europe for nearly a century to hold the monopoly of cocoa trade. Eventually, the love for chocolate spread all over Europe. Nowadays it is available and affordable all over the world.
- Why is Belgian chocolate so delicious?
- We ground our cocoa beans extremely fine, giving it its typical smooth texture.
- We look all over the world to find the best high quality cocoa, sugar and vanilla.
- Innovations: the praline was invented in Belgium, as was the ballotin, a special packaging for chocolate bonbons.
Chocolate can “bloom”. It happens when fat (cocoa butter) molecules suspended inside the chocolate bar rise to the surface and recrystallize. Bloomed chocolate is still edible, but it will be drier and less flavorful than the original product. To avoid blooming, store your chocolate in a dry, dark and cool place.
- Chocolate contains magnesium, which can relieve PMS symptoms.
- Chocolate increases serotonin levels in your brain, which can improve your mood.
- Chocolate was once used as a currency in Mayan history.
- White chocolate isn’t really chocolate, as it does not contain any cocoa solids.
- Belgians enjoy an average of 24.37 pounds (or 11.03 kilograms) per year.
- Napoleon Bonaparte was a chocoholic.
- The scientific name for the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, is derived from the Greek words θεός (theos), meaning “god,” and βρῶμα (broma), meaning “food”. It literally means “food of the gods.”
- Chocolate is harmful to dogs.