American-made chocolate and cocoa products number in the hundreds. There is a fascinating story behind these wonderful
Chocolate through the years
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The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew
nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions. The Court of
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient(原料) of chocolate when Columbus
returned in triumph (胜利) from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure of many strange and wonderful
things. Among these were a few dark brown beans. They were cocoa beans, today’s source of all our chocolate and cocoa.
The King and Queen never dreamed how important cocoa beans could be, the great Spanish explorer, to grasp the
commercial possibilities of the New World offerings.
Food of the gods(极受崇敬的人)
During his conquest of Mexico, Cortez found the Aztec Indians using cocoa beans in the preparation of the royal drink,
“chocolate,” meaning warm liquid. In 1519, Emperor Montezuma served chocolate to his Spanish guests, treating it like
a food for the gods.
For all its royal importance, however, Montezuma’s chocolate was very bitter, and the Spaniards did not find it to
their taste. To make it more agreeable to Europeans, Cortez and his countrymen conceived the idea of sweetening it with
The new drink quickly won friends. Spain wisely proceeded to plant cacao in its overseas colonies. Remarkably enough,
the Spanish succeeded in keeping the art of the cocoa industry a secret from the rest of Europe for nearly a hundred
Chocolate spreads to Europe
Spanish monks, who had been sent to process the cocoa beans, finally let the secret out. It did not take long before
chocolate was popular throughout Europe as a delicious, health-giving food. Chocolate drinking spread across the
Channel to Great Britain, and in 1657 the first of many famous English Chocolate Houses appeared.
The 19th century marked two more revolutionary developments in the history of chocolate. In 1847, an English company
introduced solid “eating chocolate” through the development of soft chocolate, which formerly controlled the world
market. The second development occurred in 1876 in Switzerland, when Daniel Peter thought out a way of adding milk to
the chocolate, creating the product we enjoy today known as milk chocolate.
Chocolate comes to America
In the United States of America, the production of chocolate proceeded at a faster pace than anywhere else in the
world. It was in 1765, to be exact, that the first chocolate factory was established in this country.