The Fascinating History of Chocolate
For most of its history, chocolate was consumed as a bitter drink rather than a sweet food.
Chocolate historically began as a beverage and was consumed as an unsweetened, bitter drink for a long time. Let’s explain this interesting history in a little more detail.
Chocolate was first discovered and consumed by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations in Mesoamerica. These civilizations produced a drink made from the seeds of the cocoa tree. This drink was similar to today’s hot chocolate, but it was bitter and no sweetener was added.
Cocoa was brought to the New World by Spanish explorers and taken to Spain. In Spain, cocoa drink became popular among the nobility, but it was still drunk without added sweeteners. In the following years, cocoa spread to other European countries and became a popular drink throughout Europe.
Sweetening chocolate and making it more edible began in the 18th century. When sugar began to be added to chocolate, the taste of chocolate became more attractive. Around the same time, cocoa butter began to be added to chocolate, giving it a smoother and creamier texture. Later, modern chocolate production began to take shape and chocolate became solid and was produced in various forms. During this period, the amount of cocoa in chocolate was increased and sweeteners became more common.
As a result, throughout the historical development of chocolate, it initially began as a bitter beverage and was consumed without added sweeteners. However, over time, with the addition of sweeteners and other ingredients, chocolate evolved into its current form and became a sweet treat.