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History: A Chocolate Timeline
Chocolate Time: 1500 B.C. - 500 B.C.
The Olmec: Love of Chocolate
Often overlooked, the Olmec are probably the source of cacao and chocolate consumption. Their culture provided a base for the Mayans lifestyle to come. With a domino effect, a love for chocolate may have passed through time all the way to the present day. While they did not invent fudge, perhaps you can thank the Olmec for your love of chocolate.
Chocolate Time: 500 B.C. - 1500
The Mayans: The Chocolate "teapot"
An ancient "teapot" from the Mayan culture found in 1981 shows evidence that is was filled with chocolate. What's not to love about this use of chocolate? It was chocolate to drink, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Mayans and their love of chocolate flourished. Even their hieroglyphics show chocolate being poured for nobility and the gods. Mayan chocolate recipes included mixing in ingredients like maize (corn), water, chili, and honey.
Chocolate Time: 1200
The Aztec: The Chocolate War
Vying for power in Central America, the Aztec dominate. The price of their victory? They demand payment in cocoa from those they conquer. The Mayans are among those who have to cough up some of their chocolate as "tax".
Chocolate Time: 1500
The Spanish & Columbus: Original Chocoholics
When the poor chocolate-deprived Spanish first met the Mayans, they had no idea what they had been missing. Chocolate was so common in Mayan culture, it was a regular household indulgence. The Spanish lost no time learning to love chocolate. In fact, you might say they were the first real European chocoholics.
The biggest European player in the conversion to love of chocolate? Perhaps it was Christopher Columbus. He "discovered" cocoa beans in Nicaragua on his 4th voyage to America, in 1502. Chocolate was an interesting distraction on his search for a sea route to India.
Chocolate Time: 1615
The French: Louis Loves Chocolate
A Spanish princess marries King Louis XIII and makes sure to take along a large supply of chocolate. French nobility love chocolate from the get-go.
Chocolate Time: 1657
The English: London's First Chocolate
The English get their first chocolate shop. A Frenchman opens it in London and the British begin to love chocolate too.
Chocolate Time: 1662
The Vatican: Does the Pope Love Chocolate?
Chocolate gets a huge boost. Pope Pius V, a big chocolate lover, declares that Christians who are fasting could drink chocolate. This is rather a popular decision!
Chocolate Time: 1697
The Swiss: Finally, Chocolate for the Swiss
The mayor of Zurich brings chocolate home from vacation. The rest of Switzerland quickly embraces chocolate as a favorite.
Chocolate Time: 1828
The Dutch: Cocoa Powder
A Dutch chemist invents the cocoa press. This makes is easier to produces delicious, creamy "eating" chocolate, rather than just "drinking" chocolate.
Chocolate Time: 1868
St Valentine: The Box of Chocolates
England sees the introduction of the "Box of chocolates" as a Valentine's Day gift item. A chocolate tradition of giving boxed chocolates as a gift is born. Valentine's Day becomes the most popular time of year to give chocolates.
Chocolate Time: 1875
The Swiss: Milk Chocolate, At Last
It takes years of experimenting but in 1875 milk chocolate is successfully launched. The blending of creamy milk and classic chocolate creates a melt-in-the mouth sensation.
Chocolate Time: 1886
The USA: Fudge
Culinary legend has it that a "fudged" batch of French caramel resulted in a delicious chocolate mistake. Yes, it was in Baltimore, Maryland that fudge was invented on Valentine's Day. This chocolate would go on to become a classic, and American fudge is one of the country's favorite forms of chocolate.
The USA: Chocolate Bars for All
During World War I and II the U.S. Army buys larges blocks of chocolate to ship to its troops. Chocolate "bars" are chipped off of these chocolate blocks. It is the beginning of a love of chocolate bars.
Travel to Europe and the introduction of organic chocolates and single origin chocolates take the chocolate love to new heights. Consumers become sophisticated chocolate connoisseurs, not just "chocoholics".
Chocolate Time: 2008
Cocopotamus Chocolate: Fudge for All
In 2008, Cocopotamus Chocolate introduces a signature blend of creamy dark chocolate fudge. This fresh handmade artisanal gourmet chocolate is infused with flavors from around the world. This sophisticated new dark chocolate fudge is then enrobed in dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate. American fudge is presented in as rich and indulgent as any European truffle.