By: Gefen Selchen
Chocolate is everywhere you look, no matter where you are! Here’s a brief history about chocolate around the world.
The story starts off in ancient Mesoamerica, present day Mexico, where the ancient Olmecs, and later ancient Mayans were known to have used cacao beans in beverages. A popular drink was one in which the cacao beans were liquified, mixed with chili pepper, vanilla, and annatto. The first ever hot chocolate!
Around the 16th Century is when chocolate was introduced to Spain. In the earlier days it was mostly consumed as a drink, just like how it was served in Mexico. They enjoyed adding sugar cane to sweeten it up.
France was introduced to chocolate a bit later in the 17th Century. It came to them through Anne of Austria who gifted her soon-to-be husband King Louis XII with the delicacy. At first, just like in most places, chocolate was mainly reserved for Royalty, but it eventually became mainstream. Today some of the highest quality chocolates come from France, such as La Maison du Chocolat, a popular chocolate shop chain in Paris.
Today some of the highest quality chocolates come from France, such as La Maison du Chocolat, a popular chocolate shop chain in Paris.
Both Switzerland and Belgium were also introduced to chocolate during the 17th century, and are now very well known for their chocolate. Swiss chocolate is one of Switzerland’s most famous products, and is internationally recognized for its high quality ingredients.
Belgian chocolate is well recognized for being a gourmet standard, especially their dark chocolate.
America was introduced to chocolate when a Spanish ship with chocolate arrived in Florida in 1641, and it soon became a treat enjoyed by people of all classes. During the Revolutionary War and later in World War II, on some occasions it was provided to the military as payment instead of money. Although countries like Switzerland, Austria, and Germany beat out America when it comes to yearly chocolate consumption, they do still eat a whopping 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate each year.
As you can see, chocolate has a rich history from all over the world, and is still massively enjoyed to this day.
- Alleny, Chris. “Chocolates From Around The World.” Food Editorials, https://www.streetdirectory.com/food_editorials/snacks/chocolates/chocolates_from_around_the_world.html.
- “7 Countries That Make The Best Chocolate.” WorldStrides, https://worldstrides.com/blog/2018/02/7-countries-that-make-the-best-chocolate/.
- “History of Chocolate.” History, 25 February 2022, https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-americas/history-of-chocolate.