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2007, The true history of chocolate, Sophie Dobzhansky Coe, Michael D.Coe, Thames and Hudson.
2005, Naked Chocolate, Wolfe and Shazzie, Maul Brothers Publising.
Monkeys discovered it first . . . ancient civilisations, faithful to the power of raw chocolate, worshiped a chocolate god, used cocoa beans as currency and consumed a ‘divine drink’.
For thousands of years chocolate was the preserve of royal families and rulers. In our Western Civilisation chocolate has only been eaten by the masses for 200 years and in this time, chocolate has become big business. The superfood has been diluted and processed for bigger profits losing the rich mineral and antioxidant content of pure cocoa.
Now, thankfully the chocolate world is re-moulding and working with growers towards a sustainable future. A new breed of micro-chocolatiers are tempering a fresher, phenomenally delicious and powerfully nutritious raw chocolate.
It’s time to join the Chocolution.
1650-1500BC : The Olmecs -
The Olmecs are the first civilisation known to have consumed cocoa after archeological digs at Paso de la Amada, Mexico revealed theobromine (found in cocao) in drinking vessels dating from between 1650 and 1500BC.
300-900 A.D. : The Mayans -
The first true chocolate lovers, treasuring cacao as a restorative, mood-enhancing tonic. It became an integral part of their society, used in ceremonies, given as gifts and incorporated into their mythologies.
1300-1500 A.D. : The Aztecs -
In their aristocratic society made up of almost 15 million people, chocolate was reserved for Royalty, Religious, merchant and warrior elite. Aztecs prized the cacao bean so highly that it was their form of currency. Cacao beans were used as ‘coins’.
1 small rabbit = 30 cacao beans
1 turkey egg = 3 cacao beans
1 large tomato = 1 cacao bean
November 1519: The Spanish Explorer -
Hernando Cortez was peacefully received by the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II into the heart of the Aztec Empire. Moctezuma II gave lavish gifts to the Spaniards, who in return stole vast amounts of gold & cocoa (when they saw it used by the Aztecs as currency) and began the destruction of this ancient civilisation.
1520s: Spanish Royal Family -
The cocoa drink finds its way to the Spanish Royal family. Here sugar was added (a technique stolen from mexico) to overcome the bitterness of the flavour.
1606: From Spain to Italy -
The Chocolate drink arrives in Italy. The drink was very expensive and it spread through Europe via connections between powerful families and Royalty.
1615: Now in France -
Chocolate was brought to France by the Spanish Princess Anna of Austria when she married her husband King Louis XIII of France.
1657: London Chocolate Cafe -
The first chocolate drinking house established in London. Chocolate houses served politicians and wealthy businessmen chocolate drinks as they sat and discussed political and business matters.
1828: A Dutch invents ‘Dutching’ -
Coenraad Van Houten invented a machine that changed chocolate from a drink to a bar. This machine de-fatted and alkalised cocoa liquor. This treatment came to be known as ‘Dutching’. This process also strips cocoa of much of its vitamin and mineral content.
1847: The Chocolate Bar -
Under Joseph Fry’s great-grandson’s management, the firm began mixing cacao butter with defatted (dutched), cocoa powder and adding sugar to create a paste that could be pressed into a mould. In this way the first chocolate bar was made. It became so popular that people quickly became used to eating chocolate as much as drinking it.
1854: The Cadbury Chocolate Reign -
Cadbury had received a Royal Warrant to be the sole purveyor of cocoa and chocolate to Queen Victoria.
1879: Milk Chocolate is Born -
The creation of Milk Chocolate was a combination of two inventions. Henri Nestle invented a sweetened condensed milk and it turned out to be perfect for Daniel Peter’s desire to make milk chocolate. The low water content of condensed milk allowed it to be combined with chocolate to create a milk chocolate bar that did not spoil.
1925: Money, Money, Money! -
Cocoa is big business: The New York Cocoa Exchange, located at the World Trade Center, was started so buyers and sellers could get together for transactions.
1969: More Power! -
The Cadbury Chocolate business merges with Schweppes soft drinks to form Cadbury schweppes.
1988: King of the Cocoa Kingdom -
Nestle buys the British chocolate and candy manufacturers Rowntree. This makes Nestle the world’s largest chocolate manufacturer.
1994: Fairer to Cocoa Farmers -
The first certified Fairtrade product Green & Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate made with cocoa from Belize is launched, shortly followed by Cafédirect coffee and Clipper tea. Cocoa farmers are some of the poorest in the world and a lot earn just £50 a year.
2005: Swallowed Up! -
Green & Blacks sold to Cadbury for £20million.
2005: Raw Chocolate Revolution -
The first raw chocolate bars are made in England. Using top quality cocoa beans, raw chocolate takes advantage of high levels of minerals and antioxidants found in cocoa making naturally delicious and nutritious chocolate.
2008: Raw Chocolutionaries -
Chocolution is founded and creates the world’s first raw chocolate making kit to help people reconnect with one of the most powerful foods on the planet. Chocolution are on a mission to fill the world with fantastic chocolate and a fair trade for everyone involved in the chain.
2010: Fat Cats or Confectionary God? -
Kraft, the world’s second largest food company buys Cadbury for £11.9 billion ending over 150 years of independence for the maker of Dairy Milk. Now Kraft becomes the world’s largest confectioner.
2012: Chocolate History Trail -
Looking back to chocolate nearly 2000 years ago, back to our ancestors relationship with chocolate, Kew Gardens in London host a Maya Chocolate Trail over Easter and Chocolution share the history and wonders of chocolate with Kew visitors of all ages. The workshops were definitely an historic event to equal the meeting of Cortez and Moctezuma II! ”