The History of Chocolate

The evolution of hot chocolate

600 BC: according to cocoa traces found in terra cotta pots, the Mayas of Colha (in the North of what today is Belize, Central America) drank chocolate with a lot of foam.

Pre-Columbian era:Mayas and Aztecs mix the cocoa in hot water with various ingredients (water, cornstarch, peppers, honey…) in different proportions according to the desired drink.

1519: Hernan Cortés disembarks on the coast of what is now Mexico. The conquistadores discover the cocoa drink.

1527: Hernan Cortés returns to Spain and brings back the famous hot chocolate recipe adapted to the taste of the colonists of new Spain as well as the utensils to prepare it: a chocolatiere and a foamer.

1615: Anne of Austria, Infanta of Spain, marries Louis XIII and quickly shares her passion for hot chocolate at the court of France.

17th and 18th centuries: the European nobility and the aristocracy adore hot chocolate.

1660: the marriage of Louis XIV to Marie Thérèse of Austria, increases the courtiers' passion for chocolate.

1725: Louis XV marries Marie Leszcynska. She loves hot chocolate, as do the favourites, who use it for its aphrodisiac qualities.

18th century: in England, chocolate is mixed with milk and not water.

1825:invention of the degreasing of cocoa by Van Houten in Holland

1828: Van Houten files a patent for the first chocolate in powder form.

1904: Poulain launches its famous orange coloured chocolate powder box.

1914: the launch in France of the chocolate flavoured banana flour Banania which will warm the French troops in the trenches.

1961: launch in France, after the United States, of Nestlé's Nesquick, flavoured with cinnamon, which today is the world's best selling chocolate drink powder.

20th cenury "old-style" hot chocolate is in fashion again: it is prepared with melted couverture chocolate.

Evolution of the chocolate bar

The history of the chocolate bar starts much later than that of the chocolate drink.

1674: the London store Coffee Mill and Tobasco Roll offers for the first time "Spanish style chocolate rolls" which could be bitten.

1830: development of the techniques of moulding. Established in Lausanne (Switzerland), Charles-Amédée Kohler mixes chocolate with hazelnuts for the first time.

1847: the moulding of the first tablet in England gives birth to plain chocolate.

1875: thanks to the invention of condensed milk by Henri Nestlé, Swiss Daniel Peter develops a recipe for milk chocolate.

1879: lindt

End 19th century: Menier sells millions of small dark chocolate sticks to be inserted into a piece of bread.

1984: the French chocolate maker Raymond Bonnat of Voiron (Isere) creates the first collection of noir chocolates "Les Grands Crus de Cacao".

End of the 20th century: A trend towards back to basics, to original and authentic flavours, even a preoccupation with traceability, may explain the appearance of cocoa vintages, like cépages for wine.