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Since When Cacao

The equatorial forest that covers the Orinoco and Amazon basins provided us with mahogany, cassava, potato, rubber plants, but above all the cocoa tree - all species which are still found there in a spontaneous state. But already in pre-Columbian times, in Central America, the Mayans and Aztecs used cocoa beans as food, as a drink, and even as currency. It was the drink of the rich classes, and the poor used it in the form of porridge, with cornflour seasoned with chili. On his return from his fourth trip to the West Indies, in 1504, Christopher Columbus brought cocoa beans back to Spain, where its cultivation remained secret for a hundred years or so.

It was probably Anne of Austria, during her marriage to Louis XIII in 1615, who introduced chocolate in France, and, if not for her, at least Marie-Thérèse of Austria took charge, by example, to spread it at the court of Louis XIV. In I657, a Frenchman opened a shop in London to sell chocolate solid at an exorbitant price (10 to 15 shillings per pound). Also, chocolate, which had been the delight and gastric complications of more than affluent people, did not become a drink available to all until the middle of the nineteenth century. Around 1700, the English had the idea of adding milk to chocolate. This was still a luxury product when J.-A. Meunier founded, in Noisiel-Sur-Marne, in 1824, the first industrial chocolate factory.

Cocoa was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, but it was not until around 1700 that we began to drink it with milk. The Family of the Duke of Penthièvre, known as La Tasse de Chocolat, by Jean-Baptiste Charpentier, 18th century.

 In 1828, the Dutchman Conrad J. Van Houten took out a patent for the manufacture of chocolate powder. In 1847, in Bristol, the Fry family developed chewable chocolate. In 1850, the Swiss Charles-Amédée Kohler created chocolate with hazelnuts. In 1876, another Swiss remained anonymous invents milk chocolate. At the start of the 20th century, it was in London, at Cadbury's, that the first chocolate cookies were available. Finally, in 1913, a third Swiss, Jules Séchaud, created filled chocolates in Montreux.

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