The Complete Story Of Chocolate Over The Ages

If you feel like many people, chocolate is not a luxury; it’s a requirement. Often considered the fifth food group, chocolate has influenced one of the most widespread and enthusiastic of individuals’s love affairs with food. While the taste is nothing short of remarkable, our fascination with chocolate because its discovery over 2000 years back has actually consisted of other benefits too. Chocolate has actually been considered an aphrodisiac, a natural treatment for the blues, part of cardiovascular health (more just recently), and even a form of currency. With its rich history and specific health and social importance, we at Recipe4Living believed it only right to include a guide to chocolate. Please your interest about chocolate’s past, how it’s made, and how you can pick, store, and prepare chocolate in your own home.

A Quick History of Chocolate

Mayan Beginnings
Our chocolate obsession actually started numerous, many centuries ago with the Mayan civilization of Mexico and Central America (250-900 A.D.). However, the Mayan kind of chocolate bore hardly any similarity to what we take pleasure in today. Most Mayans grew the cacao tree, the source of chocolate, in their yards, and collected the seeds, which they then fermented, roasted, and ground. Integrated with water and hot chili spices, the ground paste became an unsweetened frothy drink routinely taken pleasure in as part of Mayan life.

Aztec and the Sacred Brew
The Aztecs adapted this bitter drink and even considered it the food of the gods. The word chocolate originates from the Aztec word “xocoatl,” suggesting bitter drink. While the majority of Mayans might take pleasure in the beverage, chocolate was reserved for royalty, priests, and other members of the highest social class in Aztec culture. Chocolate was such an important part of Aztec society that cacao seeds ended up being a form of currency.

Trip to Europe
When the Spanish, led by Hernando Cortez, conquered Mexico in 1521, they quickly picked up on the importance of chocolate to the Aztecs and started shipping it house. The Spanish included cinnamon, sugar, and other spices to the really pricey import, and kept their chocolate drink a secret delighted in just by the Spanish nobility for nearly 300 years. When Spanish royalty started weding other Europeans, the word spread rapidly and it was quickly popular all over Europe, but just for the rich. Not up until the 18th and 19th century, when sea trade expanded and chocolate started to be standardized, might most of the middle class pay for chocolate. By the late 18th century, chocolate homes were as popular as coffee houses throughout England.

housemade chocolate Building Chocolate

Unlike numerous crops, the pods of the fragile cacao tree should be selected by hand, making the procedure of producing chocolate a tiresome affair. The pods are opened one by one, and the pulp-covered seeds drawn out. To reduce bitterness, cacao seeds are fermented for several days (like white wine grapes), and then dried. history of chocolate At this point, farmers offer sacks of cacao seeds to corporate buyers, where commercial makers take over. On the factory floor, large devices roast the seeds to launch the taste and scent. The roasted seeds are cracked open to reach the nib or heart, which is then ground into chocolate liquor (not liqueur). This thick liquid, made of cocoa butter and cocoa solids, is manipulated to produce the various sort of chocolate.