Chocoholic's Society: A Walk Down Memory Lane
Welcome aboard the chocoholic’s bandwagon where eating chocolate is considered an essential part of life. It is widely acknowledged that support groups for this kind of addiction should only be for sharing stories about chocolate we love or have newly encountered and sometimes sharing recipes too. We believe that all kinds of chocolate is good - white, dark, milk and ruby.
Did you know that there's more history to chocolate than what meets the eye. When most of us hear the word chocolate, we picture a bar, a box of pralines or a sharing pack. You think mostly "eating" and not "drinking" as an association to chocolates - hot chocolate being an exception. However, for most of chocolate’s history it was a drink and the word sweet wasn't associated with it.
Chocolate's 4,000-year history began in ancient Mesoamerica, present day Mexico. It's here that the first cacao plants were found. Centuries later, the Mayans praised chocolate as the drink of the gods. By the 15th century, the Aztecs used cocoa beans as currency. They believed that chocolate was a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl, and drank it as a refreshing bitter beverage, an aphrodisiac, and even to prepare for war.
Soon, chocolate made its way to Spain and from there to the rest of Europe as the bitter drink from Latin America, hailed for its health benefits as well as it’s decadence. It became popular to the upper echelons of society and finally amongst the masses. To reduce the bitterness, it was often sweetened with sugar, vanilla or honey and in doing so leading to the creation of the modern day hot chocolate.
In the 20th century, chocolate was still being produced by hand, which was a slow and laborious process. But with the Industrial Revolution around the corner, things were about to change. In 1828, chocolate making was revolutionized by the invention of the chocolate press. This innovative machine could squeeze cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans, leaving a fine cocoa powder behind. The powder was then mixed with liquids and sugar and poured into a mold, where it solidified into an edible bar of chocolate.