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From Bean to Bar: Where Does Chocolate From?

A Very Brief Introduction

The first people that are known to have used cacao were the ancient cultures of Maya (250-900 A.D) in Mexico and Central America. The beans were harvested, fermented, roasted and ground into a chocolate paste. The paste was then mixed with water, a little spice and chili peppers into a frothy, spicy and bitter chocolate drink called xocoatl.

By the 14th century, the Aztecs, who had come to dominate Mesoamerica, adopted cacao into their culture in food and as a form of money. They also traded with the Maya and other peoples for cacao. Drinking chocolate was an important part of their cultures and it became the favored drink for royalty. Cacao was also used in religious ceremonies as offerings to their gods, thus, came the saying "Food of the Gods".

In the 16th century, the Spanish took the seeds to Spain where the ingredients for the cocoa drink were modified. The cocoa drink became very popular and spread throughout Europe. Eventually the very first solid chocolate was made in Switzerland in 1819 and milk chocolate in 1831. The first bar of chocolate as we know it today was made by Bristol Company Fry & Son in 1847.

 

The Maya and the Ka'kau' (Cacao)

 

 

 

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AGAPEY CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Hincks Street,
Bridgetown, St. Michael
Barbados, West Indies
Tel: 246-426-8505
Email: info@agapey.com

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