Short history of chocolate

Chocolate, the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the Theobroma cacao, can be traced back to 1900 BC. Originating from the legendary age of Central America’s ancient cultures, cocoa went on to conquer the world...

Steeped in myth and legend, cocoa holds an almost mystical property. The ancient Central American civilizations believed that the precious seeds were a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. Priests presented cacao seeds as offerings to the gods and served chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies.

Cocoa beans became a precious resource and were even used as currency and a form of tax in the areas conquered by the Aztec Empire.

Chocolate was introduced to European civilisation by the Spanish, after the conquistador Hernan Cortéz brought the drink and its recipe home from his South American voyage in 1528. The Europeans sweetened and lightened it by adding refined sugar and milk. An emulsification process was developed in the 19th century to make solid chocolate, creating the modern chocolate block.

Then, in 1879, Rodolphe Lindt of Berne, Switzerland, revolutionised the way chocolate was made by inventing "conching", a means of heating and rolling chocolate to refine it.

Conching gives Lindt chocolate it’s famously smooth, melt-in-the-mouth quality. To this day the LINDT Master Chocolatiers use this process which gives every piece of Lindt chocolate that smooth melting sensation.

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