Chocolate comes in all sizes, many flavors and different consistencies. Most people can easily tell you their favorite type and just how they would like to eat it. For many it is a treat that can be enjoyed anywhere and with a variety of different people. For most of us chocolate has always existed and been part of life, but who invented chocolate?
Who invented Chocolate?
The invention of chocolate cannot be attributed to one individual but can be traced back to many different groups of people. The early Mesoamerican people (Mayans, Aztecs and Olmec Indians) all used cacao beans to develop chocolate drinks as early as 1500 BC. Cacao beans made their way to Europe via Christopher Columbus in the early 1500’s but did not gain popularity until much later. Still in a bean form being ground into powder Chocolate made its way across Europe until a Frenchman opened a chocolate house in London. It was sold as a drink to many but was very expensive thus only well to do people ever got to experience chocolate. By 1674 the ground cacao bean was being used in cakes and rolls and more people were exposed to the deliciousness of chocolate. The first step to chocolate becoming what you and I know it as today was the invention of a table mill for the beans by Monsieur Dubuisson in 1732. Then in 1829 a Dutchman named Conrad J. van Houten improved on this process by inventing a hydraulic press that could create very fine cocoa powder.
Modern Day Chocolate
The very first chocolate bars would have been somewhat unappealing to chocolate lovers today but at the time were a marvel and much sort after treat. The first chocolate bar was invented by Fry and Sons, who later became a part of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. Once in a bar form Chocolate gained in popularity and spread around the world. In 1868 John Cadbury mass-marketed boxes of chocolates and then in 1875 Daniel Peters of Switzerland created the first milk chocolate. In 1878 Rudolph Lindt created a process called “conching” which allowed for chocolate to be more blendable thus the ability to add other ingredients increased.
Chocolate has continued to grow and evolve into what we know it as today. Without the contribution of the many people mentioned above chocolate would still be a largely unknown substance.