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The Beginning of Chocolate

The word - chocolate - has most likely come from the Nahuatl language, the indigenous language of central Mexico. The Nahuatl language might have influence of the Mayan languages. According to hypothesis, the word "chocolate" has come from the Nahuatl word xocolatl, derived from xocolli, bitter, and atl, water. According to the Mayan Mythology, Xocolatl was a chocolate drink consumed by the Aztecs.

Chocolate seems to have originated from the Mayan Civilization. The earliest records of cacao use have been found in the ancient Mayan Civilization. The fact has been revealed by the chocolate residue found in an ancient Maya pot. The Mayans were believed to be drinking chocolate 2,600 years ago. Choc. has also been associated with Xochiquetzal, the Mayan Goddess of fertility.

Chocolate is believed to be consumed in a bitter and spicy drink called xocoatl, often seasoned with vanilla, chile pepper, and achiote (annatto) in the Americas. The "Xocoatl" was believed to be an energizer that was used to fight fatigue. This food type was an important luxury good throughout pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and cocoa beans were often used as currency. Cocoa beans were commonly used in several drinks and edibles. Christopher Columbus also took some cocoa beans to show Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. However, cocoa beans were broadly introduced to Europe by Hernán Cortés, the first Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca who is known for leading the military expedition that initiated the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. Chocs was first commercially shipped to Europe from Veracruz to Sevilla in 1585.

In early days, chocolate served as beverage, but the Europeans added sugar and milk to remove its natural bitterness. They also started the Mexican indigenous spice, vanilla instead of the chilli pepper. That resulted in the improved chocolate or the modern chocs. By the 17th century, the chocs with improved taste came to be used as luxury item among the European nobility.

The first form of solid chocs were invented in Turin by Doret at the end of the 18th century. F. L. Cailler opened the first Swiss chocolate factory in 1819. Pierre Paul Caffarel sold this chocolate in large quantities from 1826. The Dutchman Coenraad Johannes van Houten in 1828 patented a method for extracting the fat from cocoa beans and making powdered cocoa and cocoa butter. The Dutch process of treating chocolate with alkali to remove the bitter taste was also developed by Van Houten; the Dutch process made it possible to form the modern chocolate bar.

The first edible version of this wonderful food is believed to be made by the Englishman Joseph Fry in 1847. The Cadbury brothers produced "chocolate for eating" in 1849. It is said that Daniel Peter, a Swiss candle maker, joined his father-in-law's chocolate business, and in 1867, he started experimenting with milk as an ingredient. He produced his new product, milk version for marketing in 1875. A baby food manufacturer named Henri Nestlé helped him in removing the water content from the milk to prevent mildewing. The process of Conching, which involves heating and grinding the chocolate solids very finely to ensure that the liquid is evenly blended, was invented by Rodolphe Lindt.

Nowadays, Chocolate is a common ingredient of many kinds of confections such as chocolate bars, candy, ice cream, cookies, cakes, pies, mousse, and other desserts. It forms one of the most popular flavors in the world.

Paul writes for the Chocolate world site and for the Sicily investment site

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