Chocolate has a fascinating and lengthy history going back over 3000 years. For example in Peru, at the very heart of Amazon Forest, the tropical climate and the proximity with Equator permitted the Mayo-Chincipe o grow Bagua cocoa to make drinks even before the Maya in the Honduras’
Cocoa has always been considered an important food: traces of cocoa powder were found by archaeologists inside the terracotta pots placed in tombs as a votive offering for the dead. And more… cocoa beans became “coins” used for commercial exchange. Aztec people hold chocolate in high regard too, using it as a sacred drink for religious rituals and as a source of energy.
The very first encounter between cocoa and Europe occurred in 1502, when Christopher Columbus arrived in Guanaja Island and locals welcomed him bringing cocoa beans as a gift . Initially these were considered worthless by the Spanish. It was Hernàn Cortés who, on arriving in Messico in 1519 believed cocoa was gold: following the example of local people, Spanish conquistadores prepared a delicious drink – the forefather of modern hot chocolate. Soon afterwards Cortés started importing cocoa in Europe: some initially welcomed it with hesitation while some others considered it as a rare delicacy.
Hot Chocolate, prepared in a simple way, spread out fast among the upper classes, who used to drink it on special occasions instead of tea and coffee. In 1728, the Fry family from Bristol (UK) opened the first chocolate factory, possibly the first to produce a solid chocolate bar. From then on, chocolate entered into the everyday of everbody, as a comfort food for mind and body and the basis for many sweet and salty recipes from, all over the world.