The bittersweet taste of the cocoa inspired very little support from its drinkers until Cortez blew the world away with a discovery that when mixed with sugar and milk, along with many other sweeteners and spices, chocolate can be very enticing! The concoction was revered in the high courts that chocolate was reserved only for the nobility and the Spanish refused to share this delicacy with any other nation.
Dominican Friars who used to process the revered beans finally let the secret out in 1544 and soon took Europe by a storm.
A Sweet Chocolate Love Story in Paris
Chocolate was introduced to France when Spanish Princess Maria Theresa married Louis XIV of France. As an engagement gift, she gave her fiancé a box of ornately decorated box of chocolates which took the French by the heart. Their marriage must have been maid in chocolate heaven because it was said that King Louis made love twice a day with his wife.
The chocolates aphrodisiac qualities were further recognized by the French nobilities , even their art reflected the dark, tempestuous allure of chocolates. Stories such as that of Casanova using chocolates to seduce his lovers and Madame du Barry becoming nymphomaniac were passed on.
From Mistake to Praline
A funny chocolate anecdote comes to mind; the renowned Duke of Plesslis-Praslin was once kept waiting for his dessert owing to the accidental dropping of a bowlful of almonds in the kitchen. Panic-stricken the chef pours over burned sugar over the beans! The Duke couldn't be made to wait any longer so as soon as the sugar cooled, the chef served the noble a plate of almonds covered with burnt sugar and he was delighted. So impressed that he gave his name to this mistake! Today we know it as praline.
America Greets Cadbury
Europe remains in awe of this delicious treat, meanwhile Americans discover the chocolate and in 1765, the first chocolate factory in America was built. Soon major countries in Europe followed the examples of Spain along with America to establish more factories and find more ways to serve chocolate.
In 1828, it was found that including a little bit of the cocoa butter actually made the chocolate drink a lot smoother. Between 1830's to the late 1840's chocolate makes developed the drink into the solid form and later a fondant was introduced. And so in 1849, the Cadbury Brothers put into exhibit their decadent chocolate creations in Birmingham, England.
The Swiss Takes the Lead
After many years of dedicated study on how to process the cocoa, the Swiss discovered a way to cook the chocolate by means of refining it via 'conching'. It took about 72 hours of continues rolling and refining. Soon after, putting the chocolate in your mouth, it melts; thus the known texture today. It was a Swiss too that discovered a means to add flavor to the chocolate by filling it.
Whatever kind of chocolate you have with you today is a result of many years of devotion to the xocoatl. Men before us have been captured and tempted to their cores that those who followed only continued what they long worked for – to make the chocolate the staple that it is today. What started out as mere beans that men barely noticed has become a valued treat, the creamy, lustful and rich sweets that chocolate lovers will die for!