The History Of Chocolate (VIDEO)
The history of chocolate is definitely a story with a lot of good parts and a fairly large amount of bad parts. We’re trying to see all the benefits chocolates has brought in our lives, but let’s learn a little about the misery it has produced to so many other people. No, we’re not talking about obese people, diabetics or anyone with a cocoa allergy. We’re talking about the colonial era.
Before the 16th century, chocolate was non-existent in other parts of the world, besides today’s Central America. They didn’t even call it chocolate, because, in fact, it wasn’t what we perceive today as chocolate.
The history of chocolate dates back to 1900 BC, where the native populations of the time were using the ‘Kakao’ tree to make a ceremonial drink. The process involved squashing the cocoa beans and mixing them with hot peppers as part of a spiritual ritual.
The Mayans and Aztecs value cocoa so much, that at one point, cocoa beans were used as currency, soldiers could receive their salary in bags of cocoa beans and it was one of the most important trees in the area, for religious rituals.
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Cocoa began to grow in popularity with, your guess is correct… The Colonial era. The Spanish brought back the native drink and was firstly spread, like so many other new discoveries from the New World, through Europe’s royal families. At the beginning, due to its bitter taste, it was used as medicine. After adding honey to the squashed cocoa beans, this first form of chocolate quickly grew in popularity all over Europe, and… well, the rest is history…
Like so many other popular ‘products’ from the New World, some people had to work hard in order to provide Europe’s royals with these exotic delicacies meaning that sacrifices had to be made. And guess by whom?
But who better to explain the entire history of chocolate than the brilliant people at TedEd. Watch their animated video about chocolate and how it became the world’s most popular treat.