Everyone's Favorite – Chocolate

Doesn’t matter if it is white, milk or dark chocolate, everyone loved chocolate. Beginning with the cacao bean (the source of chocolate). It was first a drink form with various sweetness levels. It would be decades before the chocolate of today would emerge.

It began with the Native Americans, the Aztecs of Central America. They created a bitter drink version of chocolate. When the Spaniards came to Central America region they learned of this bitter drink from the natives and adopted right away to drinking it.

By the early 1800s, in Holland, the Dutch began to experiment with making a more solid type of chocolate, not just-drinks. It was Casparis van Housten, a Dutchman who patented a hydraulic press in 1828, that could remove the natural fat from the nub of the cocoa bean. This fat was named cocoa butter. The son, Conrad van Housten, added salts, potassium along with sodium bicarbonate to reduce any alkaline taste and make the chocolate a milder taste. This type of chocolate became known as ‘Dutch Chocolate.’ The cacao beans eventually were roasted and ground.

Other people followed suit such as Hershey, Cadbury, Mars, Nestlecasp and Fry & Sons, producing their own version of chocolate bars and candy. Besides developing dark, milk and white chocolate, there was bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder chocolate and ruby chocolate. It was Fry’s Chocolate of England who made the first chocolate var in 1847. Today it is Mars and Cadbury which are the most popular across the globe. Others considered a special treat are Ferrero Rocher, Ghirardelli, Guylian and Godiva.

It is the European nations most known for its chocolate making. They include Belgium, Italy, Germany and Poland. Brussels, Belgium is known as the ‘Chocolate Capital of the World.’ The cacao beans are grown now in four West African nations: Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon and some areas of Central and South America.

Your ancestors did their own experiments and added chocolate to many food items. There is chocolate in many desserts: pudding, cake, brownies, cookies, ice cream, mousse, plus cold and hot drinks of chocolate.

Photo: Chocolate pieces.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Ice Cream

Childhood Candies of the 1950s

Foods Still Loved Today

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