Although the historical findings suggest that the Maya were the first to use cocoa beans for human consumption, there is evidence that they received the knowledge from the Olmecs, an ancient nation living in central Mexico between 1500 BC and about 400 BC.
However, after the Olmecs abandoned their main cities, the Mayans arrived, inherited their place and spread over a large area, which is now within the borders of Mexico, El Salvador, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala.
The Maya consumed and even adored the chocolate, in the written history of the Maya it has been found that the chocolate drinks were used by them for celebrations in the tribe as well as to mark important transactions made. Despite the importance of chocolate in culture at the time, it was available to almost everyone and not just to the chiefs of the tribe.
The Aztecs, a culture that ruled the Mexico Valley in the 15th and early 16th centuries, also used chocolate, not only as a food but also as a currency used to purchase goods and food. In Aztec culture, cocoa beans were considered more expensive than gold. In contrast to what happened to the Maya, for the Aztecs chocolate mostly belonged to the upper class, and the lower classes rarely enjoyed it. Also, the origin of the word chocolate is from the language of the Aztecs, who called the drink they drank chocolate, cocoa water.
According to historical sources in the 16th century chocolate was first shipped to Europe, there is debate as to whether it was the famous Christopher Columbus or a Spanish conqueror named Hernan Cortes, but there is agreement that the chocolate was first brought to Spain. In 1585 Spain began to import chocolate and was the first country in Europe to do so, after that many countries also began to import chocolate.
In the 19th century a Dutch chemist found a method to extract the fat separately from the cocoa beans and thus divide it into cocoa butter and cocoa powder, which made it possible to produce the modern chocolate tablets we know today.
As for the United States' share in the story, there is an assumption that chocolate came to Florida by ship from Spain in the 17th century and from there imports expanded and American chocolate houses opened as well. There is evidence that during the United States War of Independence, soldiers were provided with chocolate along with their upcoming rations. Today, while U.S. residents consume an impressive amount of chocolate, especially on holidays.
Who moved my chocolate?
For those who can't finish their chocolate immediately (Who are you?), Here are some important tips about storing chocolate, so it won't lose its wonderful taste.
There are three key factors that are relevant when it comes to maintaining and chocolate texture: temperature, humidity and light exposure.
The most important law (which many people violate) is that chocolate should not be refrigerated because it may absorb odors from other products in the refrigerator - even if everything is closed. In addition, its texture may be damaged by humidity in the refrigerator, causing sugar chocolate to rise over the chocolate.
If you still violated the most important law, do yourself a favor and at least wrap the chocolate well before putting it in the fridge, to protect it from odors and condensation process, and if you have a tool to put it in it sealed after wrapping - what good! The top of the refrigerator is the best place to put the chocolate, since it is the least cold there. When you take the chocolate out of the fridge, let it rest a bit at room temperature before you eat - it will return to a delicious temperature for eating.
Another law is to keep the chocolate from any light source: natural light from the sun, fluorescent artificial light, flashlight from that trip you wanted to go to - any light source can damage the texture and taste of chocolate.
The last law is to seal as best as possible, in cling film or a bag, not to allow oxygen to do what it does best in - oxygen, which will cause the development of bad flavors in chocolate. It is advisable to store it in a relatively shady and cool closet.
Interesting secret - if you have a wine refrigerator at home (first of all congratulation! And secondly-) this is the best place to store chocolate in terms of suitable cold and relatively low humidity.
In conclusion, the most recommended storage for chocolate is in the stomach. If you still do not have room in your stomach, keep the important rules from this article and your chocolate will be just fine.