A brief history of chocolate

Smithsonian Magazine has a great little article on the history of chocolate. I knew that it was primarily a drink for most of its history, but I didn’t realize it only was made a solid only after the Dutch process made a powder from chocolate liquor.

In 1828, a Dutch chemist found a way to make powdered chocolate by removing about half the natural fat (cacao butter) from chocolate liquor, pulverizing what remained and treating the mixture with alkaline salts to cut the bitter taste. His product became known as “Dutch cocoa,” and it soon led to the creation of solid chocolate.

The creation of the first modern chocolate bar is credited to Joseph Fry, who in 1847 discovered that he could make a moldable chocolate paste by adding melted cacao butter back into Dutch cocoa.

By 1868, a little company called Cadbury was marketing boxes of chocolate candies in England. Milk chocolate hit the market a few years later, pioneered by another name that may ring a bell – Nestle.

So it seems the cream egg is the least of Cadbury’s accomplishments.

John Cadbury, incidentally, was a Quaker of notable social consciousness who went into the chocolate/coffee/tea beverage business out of Temperance Society idealism.

The Cadbury’s site has an excellent history section itself, both of the company and of the bean.

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6 Comments »

Comment by Anonymous
2009-04-18 23:30:14

cadbury history?
:confused:

 
Comment by Anonymous
2009-10-21 19:35:53

who made this blog?

Comment by livius drusus
2009-10-21 19:42:50

I did. Who’s asking?

 
 
Comment by Mike M
2012-05-17 18:52:29

Cadbury milk chocolate was VERY expensive back in the mid to late 19th century. Only the very wealthy could afford it.

Along came Milton Hershey with a new process of creating milk chocolate in various shapes in 1894, which made the product both very high in quality, yet affordable for the masses. He renamed his company in 1900 to Hershey, located near Lancaster, PA.

My hometown is in Williamsport, PA (Home of Little League Baseball,) just an hour and a half drive from Hershey. While their museum leaves much to be desired (Think: Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory with singing and dancing cows,) the amusement park is always a great time.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-05-18 02:12:22

Hershey’s highly individual approach to industrialization has long held fascination for me. What a pity about the kitschy museum, but a visit to Hershey, PA, is still very much on my bucket list.

 
 
Comment by Mike M
2012-05-18 03:51:03

Hershey’s ok. One of the best amusement parks in the state. Unfortunately, that’s really the only real attraction that the town has. Normally, I do not recommend anyone even waste their time going through the museum. “Kitschy” is DEFINITELY the proper term, if being a little too polite about it. It’s like what Tim Burton would think up as a nightmare about Walt Disney puking in a toilet. Think: “It’s a Small World” ride in Disney World. But if your not from the vicinity of North East USA, and you happen to make it to Hershey as a history buff and you are able to overlook the incredible cheese factor, it is rather informative.

But the park will definitely be the highlight of your day.

Now, if you ever do make it to PA, and if you’re into sports history at all, you should definitely try and make it up to Williamsport and visit the Little League Museum. Double bonus if you can make it to PA during the last week of August so you can catch a game or two.

Or Gettysburg! Definitely a history buff’s DREAM. They have a ton of very good tours, where you can visit all the bloodiest areas of the battlefield. You can go through some of the houses. One house kinda makes my stomach turn, as it’s rather chilling. It has a cannonball hole that is still in the side of the house, went through a door, and killed a mother and her young son while they were taking cover during some of the heaviest fighting.

The Gettysburgh Museum is pretty sweet. There are all kinds of other tours throughout the downtown in the various houses, and most of them are museums unto themselves. People see all kinds of strange things. (Gettysburgh is one of the most haunted towns in North America. Top five, if I remember correctly on one of those History Channel-type ranking shows.) I’ve never seen anything myself. Ever. I guess ghosts don’t like me or something…. :(

Anyway, long comment is long. Don’t want to bore you too much. ;)

 
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