Chocolate is made from the bean of the cacao tree, which is native to the tropical areas of Central and South America. Although Columbus returned from the New World in 1502 bearing cocao beans for the King of Spain, no one showed much interest in them. When cocao beans appeared in England in the middle of the seventeenth century, chocolate houses became important meeting places for the fashionable and the well- to- do, where they all enjoyed chocolate drinks. The first chocolate factory was situated in Bayonne, where a guild of chocolate makers had existed since 1761. In 1778 the first hydraulic machine for crushing and mixing chocolate paste appeared in France. Docteur Peter, a swiss was responsible for the invention of milk chocolate in 1818. In 1828 Coenrad J Van Houten invented a method called solubilization. When the British Prime Gladstone lowered the chocolate tax in 1853, prices fell and even less affluent could enjoy drinking and eating it and the chocolate industry was developed throughout the world.


Back to index