Chocolate the food of gods
In ancient times, chocolate was considered to be the food of the gods, also called brown gold, and was part of the Aztecs’ treasure.
The cocoa from which chocolate is made was known 3000 years before the era. The Indian tribe of Olmec had grown it in the rainforest, where it was doing very well in a humid and hot environment. In the 4th century AD, the Mayans settled on the territory of the Olmecs, for whom this tree was sacred and they produced a “nectar of gods” from it. Honey and corn flour were added to the ground cocoa powder.
The Aztecs also worshiped the cocoa tree, and they even made cocoa beans into a payment method. In the Aztec empire, cocoa was also used in various religious rituals, where only the elected and the rulers and the most beautiful slaves who were chosen as victims for the gods drank cocoa powder mixed with water.
The cocoa drink was flavored with black pepper, chilli or vanilla and attributed healing and aphrodisiac effects.
In 1502, Christopher Columbus brought cocoa beans to our continent as a gift to King Francis of Aragon. The king’s chocolate drink did not dazzle the king until 26 years later, the conqueror Hemán Cortés prepared liquid chocolate according to the Aztecs recipe, and the royal court accepted the chocolate with enthusiasm, and so Spain became its cradle. They invented a completely different recipe that they had guarded for nearly 100 years and were a monopoly in chocolate production. For the Spaniards, chocolate was such a drink as tea for the English. The first chocolate factories were established in Spain.
In the mid-17th century, chocolate spread to other parts of Europe. In France, the promoter of chocolate was marquise Sévigné, and to this day chocolate with her name is produced. Also Maria Antoinette, Madame Pompadour or Napoleon Bonaparte himself fell in love with chocolate. Everyone was convinced that chocolate had healing effects and called it “chocolat de santé” which means healthy chocolate. Chocolate also appeared in England where it had immediate success.
They opened the first chocolate factory in America in 1765. At that time, chocolate beans were only sold in pharmacies. Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium have been out of play for quite a long time. The first chocolate factory was founded in Switzerland in 1819, but there was something missing. It was only by chance that chocolate that melted in mouth „fondant schokolade“ appeared. When the chocolate shop owner came to work on Monday, he found out that a worker had forgotten to turn off the machine and the chocolate was mixed all weekend. He saw a shiny, delicate fragrant mass in the container. Thus he found that the basis for delicious chocolate is a few days of mixing. They also invented hazelnut and milk chocolate in Switzerland.
The breakthrough in chocolate production came in 1828 with the invention of a press separating cocoa butter from cocoa mass. The inventor of the press was the Dutch pharmacist Coenraad Van Houten, thanks to the press he obtained a lump that was ground into powder, which is today’s cocoa. Since then, chocolate has also been produced in solid form. In the 19th century, chocolate was also produced industrially, making it available to ordinary mortals. In 1913 they launched the famous Milka chocolate.
Quality chocolate has a cocoa content of more than 60% and is a source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, contains fiber, flavonoids, important minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. If you don’t overdo it, chocolate has beneficial effects on the body. It lowers blood pressure, dilates blood vessels, prevents migraine, strengthens immunity, improves mood, counteracts stress or depression and acts as an aphrodisiac. 2 pieces a day are enough to get all these benefits from chocolate.
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