(Special thanks goes to John Bozaan
for the research)
1500 BC-400 BC - The Olmec
Indians are believed to be the first to grow cocoa beans as a domestic
250 to 900 CE - The consumption
of cocoa beans was restricted to the Mayan society's elite, in the form
of an unsweetened cocoa drink made from the ground beans.
AD 600 - Mayans migrate into
northern regions of South America establishing earliest known cocoa
plantations in the Yucatan.
14th Century - The drink became
popular among the Aztec upper classes who upsurped the cocoa beverage from
the Mayans and were the first to tax the beans. The Aztecs called it "xocalatl"
meaning warm or bitter liquid.
1502 - Columbus encountered
a great Mayan trading canoe in Guanaja carrying cocoa beans as cargo.
1519 - Spanish explorer Hernando
Cortez recorded the cocoa usage in the court of Emperor Montezuma.
1544 - Dominican friars took
a delegation of Kekchi Mayan nobels to visit Prince Philip of Spain. The
Mayans brought gift jars of beaten cocoa , mixed and ready to drink. Spain
and Portugal did not export the beloved drink to the rest of Eurpoe for
nearly a century.
16th Century Europe - The
Spanish began to add cane sugar and flavorings such as vanilla to their
1570 - Cocoa gained popularity
as a medicine and aphrodisiac.
1585 - First official shipments
of cocoa beans began arriving in Seville from Vera Cruz, Mexico.
1657 - The first chocolate
house was opened in London by a Frenchman. The shop was called the
The Coffee Mill and Tobacco Roll. Costing 10 to 15 shillings per pound,
chocolate was considered a beverage for the elite class.
1674 - Eating solid chocolate
was introduced in the form of chocolate rolls and cakes, served in chocolate
1730 - Cocoa beans had dropped
in price from $3 per lb. to being within the financial reach of those other
than the very wealthy.
1732 - French inventor, Monsieur
Dubuisson invented a table mill for grinding chocolate.
1753 - Swedish naturalist,
Carolus Linnaeus was dissatisfied with the word "cocoa," so renamed it
"theobroma," Greek for "food of the gods."
1765 - Chocolate was introduced
to the United States when Irish chocolate-maker John Hanan imported cocoa
beans from the West Indies into Dorchester, Massachusetts, to refine them
with the help of American Dr. James Baker. The pair soon after built America's
first chocolate mill and by 1780, the mill was making the famous BAKER'S
1795 - Dr. Joseph Fry of Bristol,
England, employed a steam engine for grinding cocoa beans, an invention
that led to the manufacture of chocolate on a large factory scale.
The pioneer of Swiss chocolate-making, François Louis Callier, opened
the first swiss chocolate factory.
1828 - The invention of the
cocoa press, by Conrad Van Houten, helped cut prices and improve the quality
of chocolate by squeezing out some of the cocoa butter and giving the beverage
a smoother consistency. Conrad Van Houten patented his invention in Amsterdam
and his alkalizing process became known as "Dutching".
1847 - Joseph Fry & Son
discovered a way to mix some of the cocoa butter back into the "Dutched"
chocolate, and added sugar, creating a paste that could be molded. The
result was the first modern chocolate bar.
1849 - Joseph Fry & Son
and Cadbury Brothers displayed chocolates for eating at an exhibition in
Bingley Hall, Birmingham, England.
1851 - Prince Albert's Exposition
in London was the first time that Americans were introduced to bonbons,
chocolate creams, hand candies (called "boiled sweets"), and caramels.
1861 - Richard Cadbury created
the first known heart-shaped candy box for Valentine's Day.
1868 - John Cadbury mass-marketed
the first boxes of chocolate candies.
1876 - Daniel Peter of Vevey,
Switzerland, experimented for eight years before finally inventing a means
of making milk chocolate for eating.
1879 - Daniel Peter and Henri
Nestlé joined together to form the Nestlé Company.
1879 - Rodolphe Lindt of Berne,
Switzerland, produced a more smooth and creamy chocolate that melted
on the tongue. He invented the "conching" machine. To conch meant to heat
and roll chocolate in order to refine it. After chocolate had been conched
for seventy-two hours and had more cocoa butter added to it, it was possible
to create chocolate "fondant" and other creamy forms of chocolate.
1897 - The first known published
recipe for chocolate brownies appeared in the Sears and Roebuck Catalogue.
1910 - Canadian,
Arthur Ganong marketed the first nickel chocolate bar.
1913 - Swiss confiseur Jules
Sechaud of Montreux introduced a machine process for manufacturing filled
1926 - Belgian chocolatier,
Joseph Draps starts the Godiva Company to compete with Hershey's
and Nestle's American market.
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Info About Chocolate