Many people would agree that chocolate is one of the best inventions ever. So, when was chocolate invented and who could pull off such a feat? This guide reveals the history behind chocolate and what led to the popularity of confections like chocolate bars. If you’re a chocolate fan, you’ll appreciate it more after you learn about its past.
The Origins of Chocolate
Chocolate is made from cacao tree beans. They say the first cacao trees (theobroma cacao) were discovered thousands of years ago in the Amazon basin and into parts of Mexico. The Olmec people were the first to turn cacao seeds into chocolate for medicine and rituals. In those days, chocolate was considered to have magical properties. It was consumed in liquid form by grinding roasted cacao. It was then mixed with ingredients like chili peppers and sweetened with sugar or honey. Eventually, liquid chocolate arrived in Europe. Spanish and English aristocrats saw it as a special treat and began to adapt it for their own purposes. They created their version of hot chocolate with cinnamon and other flavorings. Chocolate houses became sought-after social gathering places, making the treat more popular.
The Invention of Powdered Chocolate
By the early 19th century, culinary enthusiasts wanted more ways to use chocolate. In 1828, a Dutch chemist created powdered chocolate by removing half the cacao butter from chocolate liquor. The remaining mixture was milled and processed with alkaline salts to remove the extra bitterness. It was known as “Dutch cocoa,” which eventually led to the creation of the solid chocolate bar.
The First-Ever Chocolate Bar
In the mid-1800s, Joseph Fry invented the first industrialized chocolate bar. It was covered in chocolate cream with a fondant filling. This revolutionary confection paved the way for today’s chocolate bars and baking chocolate. Without Joseph Fry, we wouldn’t have chocolate gift boxes or candies.
The Evolution of Chocolate
Chocolate has changed since its beginning. These days, there’s a style of chocolate for everybody. Look around and you’ll find chocolate bars and dark chocolate truffles for snacking and creating special treats. Cocoa powder and unsweetened baking chocolate can help you make your favorite desserts.
Want something that tempers with ease? Try couverture chocolate. It contains high amounts of cocoa butter to help it melt. It’s also smoother than some other styles. Ruby chocolate contains ruby cocoa beans, which give it its distinct color. The taste is citrus flavor with sweet berry notes. Semisweet chocolate is what is used for most chocolate chips. Finally, don’t forget bittersweet chocolate, which can be an excellent choice for decadent, velvety cakes or brownies.
Discovering Your Favorite Chocolate
Now that you know more about chocolate’s history, you will surely have more respect for your favorite treat. You may even want to try something new! As experts in craft chocolate and plant-based chocolate goodness, we have you covered.
First, we invite you to discover our delicious dark chocolate bars with cocoa from Ghana to Peru. You’ll find dense and fudgy cacao bars and lush fruit-forward treats. Or try our bars with beloved ingredients like almond butter and sea salt. Some even have rich and bold coffee notes. We also have plant-based oat milk chocolate with hints of vegan toffee and sea salt.
Pick our chocolate bar variety packs if you can’t choose just one. They make for appreciated gifts and are great for those who like versatile flavors. For our bakers, we also have baking chocolate. TCHO is your home for unsweetened dark and bitter pure cacao with no added sugar or flavors. We also have bittersweet baking chocolate and natural, non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder. Grab drinking chocolate crumbles for hot cocoa and mochas. If you’re looking for the best-roasted cacao nibs, ours has that deep and toasty chocolate flavor. There’s nothing you can’t do with chocolate, a vehicle for inspiring your tastebuds.
A Modern World of Chocolate
Chocolate recipes and confections will only continue to evolve. So whether you’re into plant-based chocolate cookies or want to impress your guests with a decadent chocolate tart, our ingredients provide the perfect foundation for indulgence.
As you shop for chocolate, you probably want to know how long does chocolate last? If you store your chocolate according to instructions, it can last for months. This makes your favorite treats an even better investment. You can thank the chocolatiers of ancient history for the evolution of your favorite dessert. Someday, we’ll all be amazed at the new uses for this fantastic treat.