Chocolate Week Series: Instalment 2- Chocolate reaches Europe

Posted on the 9th October 2018

Yesterday we shared the origins of chocolate and today we explore how chocolate was brought to Europe.

Chocolate was not introduced to Europe until the sixteenth Century. Christopher Columbus did encounter Cacao on his journeys, and found how the natives valued these beans. He took them to Spain, however there was little interest.

After Spain conquered over the Aztec Empire, chocolate was taken to Europe. It was initially used as a medicine and only when the Spanish added sugar, it became a popular drink among the wealthier Spaniards.

Within one hundred years, the love for chocolate spread around Europe.

The chocolate making process was not all sweet though, with slaves being used in the strenuous processing of the Cacao. When the demand for chocolate increased, so did the exploitation of native people.

During the Industrial Revolution, new ways to make the chocolate making process faster and more efficient emerged.  By the nineteenth century there was mass production of chocolate, which was available to normal people.



Photo credits

Featured image: Godiva

  1. How Stuff Works
  2. La Famille du duc de Penthievre en 1768
  3. Financial Review
  4. Australian Food Timeline
  5. Wikipedia



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