Where Does Chocolate Come From?

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In spite of what most people think, chocolate did not originate in either Belgium or France. In point of fact, it wasn’t until a few centuries ago that it was brought to Belgium or France, or anyplace else in Europe, for that matter. Prior to then, people exclusively ate chocolate in certain regions of modern-day Mexico and Central America, as well as some regions of northern South America. This practice lasted for thousands of years.

But even chocolate as we know it now is not the same as the cacao beverages that were drunk in the past. The seeds of the tropical cacao tree are fermented and roasted before being ground up and combined with sugar to produce the sweet and savory confection known as modern chocolate. It is produced in practically every nation on the planet, and more than 50 nations are responsible for growing the cacao that is required to manufacture chocolate.

Where exactly does chocolate originate from in this day and age? It is dependent on the sense in which you intend it.

The Americas, Asia, and Africa are all responsible for the long and illustrious history of chocolate. It is also produced from the cacao that is farmed in the majority of the world’s tropical areas, and it is manufactured and exported from practically every nation. After the cacao seeds have been roasted and ground by a chocolate maker, the ground cacao is referred to as chocolate liquor, and it may be solidified in molds to produce baking chocolate.

Cacao powder is often made by first pressing the bean to minimize the amount of cacao butter, which is the fat found in the cacao bean, and then crushing the bean. Alternately, chocolate producers may generate semisweet chocolates by combining sugar, additional cacao butter, and chocolate liquor in a grinding process. Milk chocolate is created by mixing sweet chocolate with evaporated milk powder or milk that has been condensed. There are several dairy-free alternatives to milk chocolate.

However, the cacao beans are the first step in the process of making any kind of chocolate. To get cacao beans, one must engage in a laborious and time-consuming procedure that is performed entirely by hand and will be described in more detail below. Cacao beans, sometimes known as cocoa beans, are extracted from the fruit of a tree known as Theobroma cacao, which is indigenous to the tropical parts of modern-day South America. Cacao beans are also often referred to as cocoa beans.

How is Chocolate Made (From Bean to Bar)

Harvesting Cacao

Cacao trees need between two and four years to reach maturity before they can begin to produce cacao fruit, which takes the shape of colorful, elongated pods. It takes about a half a year for the pods to grow from the time the flowers appear on the tree until they are ready to be harvested. The harvesting process may take place at any time of the year, although the majority of it takes place twice a year, between October and February and between May and August, depending on the location.

After the crop has been gathered, the cacao fruits are removed from the trees one at a time and hacked open with machetes to get the mature seeds (which are afterwards referred to as cacao beans) and pulp within. After the beans and pulp have been removed, they are stacked onto leaves or leaf-lined holes or containers that have been punctured to drain surplus liquids from the bottom.

Fermenting Cacao

Turning the beans over at regular intervals allows excess heat to escape while they are fermenting along with their pulp. The higher temperature eliminates the germ in the seed and dries out the perspiration produced by the pulp. The type of the cacao bean dictates how long they are allowed to ferment for before being harvested. To a greater extent Fermentation of Forastero-dominant varieties often lasts between 5 and 7 days, while fermentation of Criollo-heavy types typically lasts between 1 and 3 days.

Drying Cacao

After the fermenting process, the beans are either left out in the open air to gently dry or are placed in a kiln to undergo artificial heating. The moisture level of the bean is reduced from 60 percent to 7 percent during the drying process, which also helps the bean develop a resistance to mold. The rate at which they dry should be slow enough to prevent the early hardening of the shells, which might retain undesirable moisture and leave the beans taste acidic. This can be avoided by drying them at a rate that is slow enough.

In most cases, natural drying by the sun is sufficient for this, but in order to prevent mold growth, artificial drying may be necessary at times. When the drying process is complete, the beans are placed into bags to be either stored or transported.

The demand for cacao beans skyrocketed as the popularity of chocolate began to expand across the Western world. In order to expand and satisfy the ever-increasing demand, Spain and other colonial powers decided to use slave labor from the very beginning of their settlement of the Americas.

Slaves brought from Africa ultimately filled the void left by the dwindling workforce of Mesoamerican civilizations that had been subjugated. Today, West Africa is responsible for two-thirds of the world’s cacao output, and it continues to feed the industry that manufactures chocolate across the globe. This fact serves as an economic reminder of the long-lasting influence that colonial slave labor had.                                  

Where Does Cocoa Come From?

The cacao bean, sometimes known as simply “cacao,” is the seed that is ground up to make chocolate. More than fifty nations in the tropical regions of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific are responsible for cacao production. Although it is now known that there are 10 unique genetic families contained within the cacao species, the majority of people continue to conceive of the many varieties of cacao as falling into one of three broad categories: Forastero, Criollo, or Trinitario.


The majority of commercial chocolate is made from forastero cacao, which accounts for 80–95% of the world’s total cacao output and is the kind most often utilized. It belongs to one of the 10 genetic groups that are indigenous to the Amazon region and is cultivated in a number of different countries, including West Africa, Ecuador, and Brazil, amongst others. The pods of the forastero plant are typically yellow in color, have a high production, and are resistant to disease. The pods are smooth and short, and they feature tiny ridges around their surface. Although bitter and acidic in flavor, the beans themselves have a purple tint when split in half. This is due to the high polyphenol content of the beans, which also accounts for their color.


Criollo cacao is one of the ten unique genetic groups that cacao can be broken down into. It barely accounts for 5% of the total cacao output. The pods are often a pale green tint, are somewhat lengthy, and feature pronounced ridges. Criollo cacao tends to produce less beans overall, and those beans tend to be much smaller and primarily white. Unfortunately, these beans are also more subject to assaults from disease and pests. Due to the fact that they are so rare, their production is so low, and their taste is so complex, they are the most costly kind of cacao. The majority of the world’s criollo cacao comes from either central or northern South America, where the cacao tree originally originated.


The Forastero and Criollo cacaos have been crossed to produce this hybrid kind of cacao. While having a significantly better resilience to diseases and pests, Trinitario bean varieties have a higher yield than Criollo bean varieties. In reality, the variety is a fusion of several distinct genetic families; nonetheless, it was established on the island of Trinidad as an insurance policy against the possibility of loss due to an invading fungus, therefore the island gave it its name (which has happened). Even though it has a more fruity flavor and is more resistant to disease than Forasteros, it still only accounts for a small percentage of the total world output.

Where is Chocolate Made?

The first known use of chocolate was in the form of a beverage. Techniques that assisted in the transformation of chocolate from a drink to a meal were first introduced during the industrial revolution in the 1800s. These methods were also made possible by a succession of advances in technology.

It is expected that countries in Europe and the West, particularly Spain, England, France, and the United States, will be the first to demonstrate a significant interest in chocolate consumption on a widespread basis. Between the years 1600 and 1800, chocolate saw a meteoric rise in popularity, which resulted in the aforementioned locations being the major and most well-known makers of commercial chocolate items on a worldwide scale.

Unfortunately, this growth in interest in chocolate always also depended on the slave trade and low-cost labor to meet the expanding demand for cacao beans. This was an unfortunate and unavoidable aspect of the industry. Since the commencement of cacao production in the colonies, farmers and workers have had to contend with severe competition and survive on salaries that are much below industry standards. Cases of child labor and human trafficking have been related, and continue to be tied, to the need for cacao production that is exported to meet the demands of global chocolate producers.

It turns out that a significant portion of the income in the chocolate industry comes from the sale of completed goods, just as it is the case in the majority of other businesses. A number of countries that were once part of the British Empire have, in recent years, begun to engage in the local refining and manufacture of commercial chocolate items. With the blessing of the relevant governments, bigger business arrangements are now being negotiated. They have high hopes that if they get into the refining and processing segment of the business, they will be able to extract more value from the cocoa that is farmed in their region.

A Brief History of Chocolate

Chocolate has a long and illustrious history that stretches back before written records were kept. There is evidence of cacao residue on some ancient pottery that was discovered in Ecuador. The pottery dates back more than 5000 years and is the earliest evidence of cacao consumption found anywhere on the earth. According to studies conducted on ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya, Aztecs, and Toltecs treasured cacao beans and chocolate for ceremonial and festive purposes in their more recent pasts, particularly in the north of the region.

In ancient communities, chocolate is thought to have played a role in rituals and may have even been eaten as part of daily life. The Aztecs began drinking cacao as a beverage and added honey to their chocolate beverages for flavor and sweetness. In addition to being utilized for food, the widespread presence of cacao in specific regions of these ancient civilizations provided evidence that the beans were also used as a sort of payment.

History of Chocolate After 1492

Cacao beans were stolen by the Spanish and brought back to Spain in 1502, during the fourth and final expedition of Christopher Columbus. Because of the plant’s astringency, it was first used as a therapeutic beverage; however, in later times, it would be improved by the addition of sweets like as sugar, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla. In the year 1585, Spain documented the arrival of the first consignment of cocoa beans coming from the Mexican state of Veracruz.

But it wasn’t until the year 1606 that Italy, and subsequently the rest of Europe, had their first taste of chocolate. The year 1765 marked the beginning of chocolate production in the American colony of Massachusetts, which did so using cacao beans imported from the West Indies.

In 1815, a man named Coenraad van Houten from the Netherlands discovered that by adding alkaline salts to chocolate, he could diminish the bitterness of the beverage, ushering in a new period of worldwide invention. After that, in the year 1828, he designed a press that was able to remove fifty percent of the natural fat that was present in cacao butter. This resulted in an improvement in the consistency of chocolate and contributed to the development of cocoa powder. Because of both of these developments, chocolate became much more accessible to more people, which contributed significantly to an increase in its appeal.

History of Chocolate Bars

In 1847, the British chocolate business J.S. Fry and Sons took history still another step further when they formed the first chocolate bar by adding sugar and cocoa butter to pressed chocolate liquid. This innovation moved the timeline of chocolate production forward by another year. This would become the standard for future chocolate confections, and the demand for this kind of chocolate that could be carried about easily would skyrocket.

Milk chocolate was first created in 1876 when a Swiss national named Daniel Peter added milk powder to the mixture. The milk powder had been made by Henri Nestlé. Soon after that, in the year 1879, a native of Switzerland named Rudolf Lindt constructed the conch machine. This device is currently widely used to mix and aerate chocolate in order to further perfect its consistency.

These contributions would go on to form the basis of contemporary chocolate production and would only grow to the companies that are now behind household brand names such as Nestlé, Cadbury, The Hershey Company, Mars, Incorporated, and Lindt, amongst others.


Where does chocolate originally come from?

The history of chocolate dates back about 4,000 years to ancient Mesoamerica, which is now known as Mexico and is considered the country where chocolate was first created. Cacao plants, the precursor of chocolate, were first discovered in this region. Cacao is the primary ingredient in chocolate.

What animal does chocolate come from?

In point of fact, it’s a plant that’s been there for thousands of years and is a vital component of the ecosystem that it’s a part of. Cacao, the primary ingredient in chocolate, originates from the bean-like fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree.

How was chocolate originally eaten?

It was first eaten as a bitter drink and was highly valued for its properties as both an aphrodisiac and a stimulant. It was first eaten as a bitter drink and was highly valued for its properties as both an aphrodisiac and a stimulant. More than five millennia have passed since the beginning of mankind’s love affair with chocolate.

Why is white chocolate white?

When manufacturing cocoa powder, cocoa butter is extracted from the cocoa bean using the same process. Even while white chocolate and dark chocolate both originate from the cacao bean, white chocolate is distinguished from dark chocolate by its lack of cocoa liquor and its color, which is similar to that of caramel.

What is the number 1 chocolate in the world?

Ferrero Rocher is without a doubt the most often given chocolate throughout the holiday season. It is widely considered to be the chocolate with the highest rate of sales everywhere in the globe. That may be attested to by anybody who has sampled this pleasure that will make your mouth swim.

When was chocolate first eaten?

Mesoamerica is considered to be the birthplace of chocolate. Chocolate-based fermented drinks have been traced back to at least 1900 BC and as far back as 1500 BC. The Mexica people thought that the cacao seed was a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the deity of knowledge. Cacao seeds had such a high value in the past that they were even employed as a sort of payment.