The word “chocolate” comes from the Aztec word cacahuatl, which, at the time, meant a cocoa-based beverage. Native of Latin America has come to us through the Spanish chocolate adaptation; It spread throughout Europe and became so pleasing to justify the name Theobroma, or “Food of God”.
The origins of chocolate are associated with the Maya period; this population was probably the first to cultivate the cacao tree. It has ancient origins and is presumed to be already present more than 6000 years ago in the Area of Rio of Amazon and Orinoco.
After the Maya also the Aztecs began the cultivation of cocoa, and later the production of chocolate. In America the chocolate was consumed as a beverage, called xocoatl, often flavored with vanilla, chili and pepper. In the pre – Colombian period cocoa beans were used as currency.
In 1500 Christopher Columbus, and Cortez later discovered the cocoa plant in Latin America. Christopher Columbus was the first European to taste it and appreciate its properties. In 1519 Hernan Cortez introduced the cocoa bean in Europe. Throughout the sixteenth century the chocolate remained an exclusive product of Spain, country who increased the crops year by year. Over the XVII century chocolate became a common luxury among the nobles of Europe; in the Eighteenth century the first “coffee shops” appeared in Venice; certainly they were also” shops of chocolate”. Milk chocolate was invented by the Swiss Daniel Peter in 1875, after 8 years of experimentations. The Gianduja was an invention of some maitres chocolatiers of Turin who mixed chocolate with Hazelnuts from Piedmont. The first chocolate bars dated back to 1847 and were invented by the owner of the store Fry and Sons in Bristol, England.
In the XX century, thanks to the collapse of the price of cocoa and sugar, the abolition of government taxes and the liberalization of the cocoa trade, many workshops rapidly spread around. Chocolate became, in a short time, even a consumable food from the middle class. It was with the industrialization of chocolate production that the so called “food of God” transformed into a sweet pleasure for everyone.
Criollo (cocoa Theobroma cacao). It is the finest cocoa, the finest and rarest in circulation. His name is of Spanish and Portuguese origin and means “indigenous.” It is mainly found in the Northern part of South and Central America. The chocolate obtained is aromatic and delicate; it tastes sweet and contains only little fat.
Trinitarian. It is a hybrid obtained by mixing the two previous varieties, delicate flavor, but easy to work, and used mainly in the pastry. Widely distributed across the Equator, it owes its name to the Island of Trinidad, where he is said to have found the first cocoa tree.
Forastero (Theobroma cacao sphaerocarpum). 90% of the chocolate on the market comes from the seeds of this variety and its plantation is easy to grow. It is widely used, thanks to the robustness of the plant and its productivity, and is now used to produce the vast majority of the chocolate on the market all over the world. Its cultivation is widespread in Africa and Brazil ans South east Asia. its taste is strong and intense.
FROM COCOA TO CHOCOLATE