A Short History of Chocolate. Chocolate was first used by ancient Mesoamerican peoples, probably beginning with the Maya. They mixed cacao paste with water, chile peppers, cornmeal, and other ingredients to make a bitter but spicy chocolate drink.
Europe came in contact with chocolate during the conquest of Mexico in the early 1500s.. Spaniards adopted the Aztec practice of drinking chocolate and began to ship cacao seeds to their home country.
In Spain, cooks sweetened the bitter beverage with sugar and added other spices more appealing to the local palate. After more than a century, the use of chocolate spread to other European nations.
Being in short supply, chocolate was an item restricted to the wealty elite. In France, only members of the royal court had access to chocolate.
To increase the supply of chocolate, many European nations established cacao plantations in their colonies where the climate was appropriate and labor was plentiful.
Even after the supply of raw materials increased, though, chocolate was still expensive. Eventually, the steam engine and other machinery of the Industrial Revolution allowed mass production of chocolate.
The development of chocolate candy relied on later inventions like the cocoa press and the conching machine - these allowed a smooth, solid chocolate to be manufactured and turned into the kind of confections we see today.
Swiss chocolate makers are credited with the invention of milk chocolate, a sweet, creamy confection that remains popular today.
Candy Gift Ideas is the place to come when you are selecting presents for any occasion - we've got the ideas for the gifts you need! Chocolates and other candy presents are great for Valentines Day, Christmas, Easter, and other holidays plus personal occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, baby gifts, get well gifts, friendship gifts, and more!