The history of chocolate – Deanna Pucciarelli


If you can’t imagine
life without chocolate, you’re lucky you weren’t born before
the 16th century. Until then, chocolate only existed
in Mesoamerica in a form quite different
from what we know. As far back as 1900 BCE, the people of that region had learned
to prepare the beans of the native cacao tree. The earliest records tell us the beans
were ground and mixed with cornmeal
and chili peppers to create a drink – not a relaxing cup of hot cocoa, but a bitter, invigorating concoction
frothing with foam. And if you thought we make
a big deal about chocolate today, the Mesoamericans had us beat. They believed that cacao
was a heavenly food gifted to humans
by a feathered serpent god, known to the Maya as Kukulkan and to the Aztecs as Quetzalcoatl. Aztecs used cacao beans as currency and drank chocolate at royal feasts, gave it to soldiers as a reward
for success in battle, and used it in rituals. The first transatlantic
chocolate encounter occurred in 1519 when Hernán Cortés visited
the court of Moctezuma at Tenochtitlan. As recorded by Cortés’s lieutenant, the king had 50 jugs of the drink
brought out and poured into golden cups. When the colonists returned with shipments
of the strange new bean, missionaries’ salacious accounts
of native customs gave it a reputation as an aphrodisiac. At first, its bitter taste made it
suitable as a medicine for ailments, like upset stomachs, but sweetening it with honey,
sugar, or vanilla quickly made chocolate a popular delicacy
in the Spanish court. And soon, no aristocratic home was
complete without dedicated chocolate ware. The fashionable drink was difficult
and time consuming to produce on a large scale. That involved using plantations
and imported slave labor in the Caribbean and
on islands off the coast of Africa. The world of chocolate would change
forever in 1828 with the introduction of the cocoa press
by Coenraad van Houten of Amsterdam. Van Houten’s invention could separate
the cocoa’s natural fat, or cocoa butter. This left a powder that could be mixed
into a drinkable solution or recombined with the cocoa butter to create the solid chocolate
we know today. Not long after, a Swiss chocolatier
named Daniel Peter added powdered milk to the mix, thus inventing milk chocolate. By the 20th century, chocolate
was no longer an elite luxury but had become a treat for the public. Meeting the massive demand required
more cultivation of cocoa, which can only grow near the equator. Now, instead of African slaves
being shipped to South American cocoa plantations, cocoa production itself would shift
to West Africa with Cote d’Ivoire providing two-fifths
of the world’s cocoa as of 2015. Yet along with the growth
of the industry, there have been horrific abuses
of human rights. Many of the plantations throughout
West Africa, which supply Western companies, use slave and child labor, with an estimation of more than
2 million children affected. This is a complex problem
that persists despite efforts from major chocolate
companies to partner with African nations to reduce child
and indentured labor practices. Today, chocolate has established itself
in the rituals of our modern culture. Due to its colonial association with
native cultures, combined with the power of advertising, chocolate retains an aura
of something sensual, decadent, and forbidden. Yet knowing more about its fascinating
and often cruel history, as well as its production today, tells us where
these associations originate and what they hide. So as you unwrap
your next bar of chocolate, take a moment to consider that
not everything about chocolate is sweet.

100 thoughts on “The history of chocolate – Deanna Pucciarelli

  1. We love all the support we've been getting for our history lessons! Thank you! If you're interested in learning how you can get involved in our nonprofit mission, check out our Patreon page: http://bit.ly/2o53pzR

  2. You know it.
    1: Cadbury
    2: White Chocolate
    3: Twix
    4: 3 Musketeers
    5: Snickers
    6: Milky Way
    7: M&M
    8: Reese's
    9: Kinder
    0: Hershey's

  3. History Of Chocolate

    One Day Milka Found His True Love Snickers Then Had a Baby Named Toblerone
    Toblerone Marry Kisses and Had a baby Named
    KitKat
    KitKat marry Twix and Had a Baby Named
    Mars

  4. TED-ED: teaches about slavery from the demand of chocolate

    me: oohhhhhh…. so dark chocolate has NO milk……

  5. Two days ago I read about cocoa of Ghana in Africa in our Geography book with its Case Study …… and today I got such a wonderful video …

  6. Me: (eats chocolate)
    Dentist: chocolate is bad for yo-
    Me: dID yOu kNoW cHocOlAtE uSeD tO bE mEdicInE?
    Doctor and patient: GIMME SOME THEN!

  7. 🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🥢🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫

  8. I suddenly felt sick when i reached to the part where millions of children are used
    Chocolate won't feel the same to me anymore😭

  9. Chocolate took Europe by storm once it left Spain. There are records of people being threatened with excommunication (thrown out of the church congregation for good) for having their servants repeatedly interrupt sermons to deliver chocolate drinks to their masters.

  10. So much stuff the euros stole from Mexico,corn ,tomatoes,chocolate,chile,vanilla, you can try but we wont let it happen proud Mexican.

  11. Daniel:I accidentally added powered milk in the chocolate
    Boss:forget about it
    Few years later
    Sweet tooth guy:whoever created milk chocolate there the most smartest person ever

  12. They are still using slaves and children? Good good.. I'm gonna eat double than before. Hope they suffer a lot for my belly.

  13. They gave us tomatoes (tomatle) as well, which later became a staple in Italian and other country's staple foods. Also ahuacatl (avocado) and cacahuatl (peanut). Also chilis and the Incas gave us potatoes, also the staple food of several european countries. Also beans, vanilla, and other spices. Rubber, gold, silver, copper, the list is endless.

  14. Mom: *is about to give her son medicine*
    *puts honey and everything in there*
    Mom: nvm ill just eat them.
    Boy: I thought you love me..

  15. So.. in order for people to have dairy, cows are forcibly impregnated with a metal rod up their cervix. They then become pregnant for 9 months (just like human mothers) and they form a very close bond with their baby, in the exact same way that human mothers do. Within 24 hours, the baby calf is taken away from the mother and this causes the cow and the baby calf extreme distress. The mother will try to follow her baby as far as she possibly can and when her baby is gone she will cry and mourn for days. She will go to the same place where she last saw her baby and cry. Then the whole process starts again when the farmers forcibly impregnate her again, and she goes through the same cycle over and over again until her body cant take it anymore, and then she is slaughtered. As for the calves, if it's a male calf they are killed for the veal industry and if it's a female they will live the same tragic fate as their mothers. Please watch this 5 minute video that explains the dairy industry: https://youtu.be/UcN7SGGoCNI

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