Origins, History, Types, and Making of Most Favored Treat

History & Origins of Chocolate

According to the book Chocolate Sweet Science & Dark Secrets Of the World’s Favorite Treat, written by Kay Frydenborg, “Cocoa Tree originates in the Amazon Basin of South America”(229). The origins of the most important ingredient of chocolate is found in South America. Without cocoa, the world's favorite treat would not exist. The Maya’s of southern Mexico adopted chocolate into their culture in 250 A.D. (Frydenborg 229). Around 1200 A.D. the Aztec inherited chocolate from the Maya and added seasonings. They made chocolate important by in corperating it into rituals and sacrifices (Frydenborg 230). The Aztecs limited the consumption and use of chocolate to the ruling and military classes (Frydenborg 230). Essentially the Native Indians of South America were some of the first to discover chocolate and as different Indian cultures discovered it they changed it to meet the needs and taste of their culture.

Around 1528 A.D., Cortes Presents King Charles V, of Spain, with cocoa beans and the tools to make a chocolate (Frydenborg 232). In 1755, chocolate first arrives in Americas English colonies, obtained by Benjamin Franklin for soldiers in the French Indian war (Frydenborg 232). According to the book Chocolate Sweet Science & Dark Secrets Of the World’s Favorite Treat, “John Hanau and Dr. James Baker established America's first chocolate factory in Dorchester, Massachusetts. By 1780, the mill is producing Bakers chocolate”(Frydenborg 232). John Hanau and James Baker opened the first American chocolate factory in 1765 and by 1780 were producing the first American chocolate.

In 1847, solid chocolate is created by J.S. Fry & Sons a British chocolate maker (Frydenborg 233). Frydenborg writes, “Daniel Peter of Vevey, Switzerland teams up with his neighbor, food scientist Henri Nestle, to perfect the production of milk chocolate, using condensed milk”(233). Daniel and Henri perfected milk chocolate in 1875. In 1895 Milton S. Hershey sells his first Hershey’s bar in Pennsylvania made with modern technology so that chocolate could be affordable to everyone (FrydenBorg 234). In 1941, Milton S. Hershey requested that the U.S. Military include three four-ounce Hershey's bars in each soldier's “D-ration”(Frydenborg 235). To this day this is still done. Hershey's chocolate has also gone to space as part of U.S. astronauts diet (Frydenborg 235).

Different Types of Chocolate.

According to Cacaoweb, “the main types of chocolate are white chocolate, milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate.”These chocolates are the best known and most common chocolates. These chocolates can be made with ordinary cocoa beans, specialty cocoa beans with are more expensive, or a mixture of both (Cacaoweb). Cocoa beans grow on cacao trees inside of cacao pods. To turn these seeds into any type of chocolate, they are ground into a powder. The “fat” of the bean called cacao butter is extracted to be added in later when chocolate bars are being made. All chocolates contain some part of the cocoa bean. White chocolate, however, only contains the cocoa butter which is why it is not a dark color.

The Making of Chocolate

According to The Hershey Company, the first step to making chocolate is gathering cocoa pods from cocoa tree around the world. Cacao pods come from all around the world; South America and the tropics are just a few places that produce the pods and the beans within. The Hershey Company states, cacao beans are roasted in large revolving roasters at high temperatures. Cacao beans are roasted in large roasters to be prepared to be made into chocolate. Later, the shell is removed to reveal the “nib,” or the insides of the bean. The inner parts of the bean is what is actually used to make chocolate (The Hershey Company). The nib is the actual nut of the bean. The nibs are now ground into a liquid called, chocolate liquor (The Hershey Company). From here, different ingredients are added to make the different types of chocolate. After the chocolates are mixed they are placed into molds to harden and later removed and wrapped (The Hershey Company).