World Chocolate Day, sometimes referred to as International Chocolate Day, is observed globally on July 7. Celebration of the day includes the consumption of chocolate. The date 7 July 2016 marks 466 years since chocolate was introduced to Europe By Christopher Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors. They first reached the shores of the New World on 12 October 1492, initially believing that he had reached India. This voyage was carried out to expand markets by establishing new trade routes and therefore rival the Portuguese Empire, which was already well established in Asia. Following the success of that first voyage to the New World, others were organised with the intention of exploring and creating new trade routes. On his fourth voyage, Columbus, in 1502, met an unexpected storm and was forced to temporarily land on 15 August on the Bay Islands.
In their first explorations of the area, Columbus’ group came upon a boat of Mayan origin travelling from the Yucatán Peninsula. The Spaniards were surprised by the large size of the vessel. Columbus detained the vessel and examined the cargo, which contained cocoa beans that he called almonds in his diary. However, he did not attach importance to these, and after this original inspection he let the boat proceed with its cargo. from 1517 to 1519, the Spanish conquistadors Bernal Díaz del Castillo (who referred to the use of cocoa by Aztecs in his book Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España) and Hernán Cortés both tried the drink and found it to have both bitter and spicy tastes due to the use of achiote. On occasions cornmeal and hallucinogenic mushrooms were also added to the drink. After the conquest of Mexico, the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, offered Hernán Cortés and his companions fifty jars of foaming chocolate. According to the account of Francisco Cervantes de Salazar, the great emperor had a stockpile of several thousand ‘charges’ (tens of thousands of cocoa “kernels”). Surprisingly Both The Italian Girolamo Benzoni in his book La Historia del Mondo Nuovo (1565) .José de Acosta disliked the drink, comparing the frothy foam capping chocolate to feces. Despite this, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo characterised it as an interesting ingredient, while showing some reluctance to describe how some Indians, after drinking it, had stained their lips as if they had ingested human blood.
As the Spanish settlers began to run out the stocks they brought with them, they had to find substitute foods. They therefore began to plant vegetables, such as chickpeas, cereals such as wheat and fruits like oranges or pears. Additionally they introduced the cultivation of olives, grapes and sugar cane. The latter ingredient became important. From the end of the 16th century onwards, sugar cane began to be added to the cocoa paste, which led to greater acceptance of cocoa among the Spanish settlers. around the 1520s, the Spaniards had to get used to new foods and flavours while they attempted to adapt old world cultivation methods to the new climate. Equally, however, the new ingredients brought by the Spanish settlers such as wheat and chickpeas struggled to find acceptance among the native populations who preferred their own homegrown dishes. Spaniards from humble economic backgrounds often married richer Aztecs, often as concubines. Thus, they tended to eat food influenced by Aztec gastronomy. This hastened the spread of cocoa among both cultures. Bernal Díaz del Castillo mentioned that in a banquet held at the Plaza Grande in Mexico (built on the ruins of the Aztec capital) to celebrate peace between Carlos I of Spain and Francis I of France chocolate was served in golden tablets. The wide acceptance of cocoa by the Spanish conquistadors, especially the women, was also described by the Jesuit José de Acosta in his book Historia natural y moral de las Indias (published in 1590).
The Spanish modified Chocolate For example, sugar was added, mirroring the native Mexican and Mayan practice of adding honey to cacao beverages. New World spices were replaced with similar Old World spices, in part for the sake of familiarity, but also out of practicality. The Madrid physician Colmenero de Ledesma recommended substituting the rose of Alexandria for mecaxochitl flower blossoms and black pepper for Mexican chilies, when necessary. Cacao beverages containing maize, such as atole, gradually phased out because maize-less chocolate lasted longer, making it more suitable for cross-Atlantic trips. Eventually, cocoa became more popular and, supplies were sent to Spain. The second major transformation of chocolate at the hands of the Spanish was in the serving method: the cocoa was heated until it became a liquid. This was in contrast to the natives of the New World, who generally drank it cold or at room temperature.The third change was the addition of spices from the Old World like cinnamon, ground black pepper or aniseed.
By the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of Mesoamerica and adopted cacao into their culture. They associated chocolate with Quetzalcoatl, who, according to one legend, was cast away by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans,and identified its extrication from the pod with the removal of the human heart in sacrifice. In contrast to the Maya, who liked their chocolate warm, the Aztecs drank it cold, seasoning it with a broad variety of additives, including the petals of the Cymbopetalum penduliflorum tree, chile pepper, allspice, vanilla, and honey. The Aztecs were not able to grow cacao themselves, as their home in the Mexican highlands was unsuitable for it, so chocolate was a luxury imported into the empire. Those who lived in areas ruled by the Aztecs were required to offer cacao seeds in payment of the tax they deemed “tribute”. Cocoa beans were often used as currency.
Chocolate has been prepared as a drink for nearly all of its history. For example, one vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico, dates chocolate’s preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BC. On the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokaya archaeological site provides evidence of cacao beverages dating even earlier, to 1900 BC.The residues and the kind of vessel in which they were found indicate the initial use of cacao was not simply as a beverage, but the white pulp around the cacao beans was likely used as a source of fermentable sugars for an alcoholic drink. Around 400 AD. Documents in Maya hieroglyphs stated chocolate was used for ceremonial purposes, in addition to everyday life. The Maya grew cacao trees in their backyards, and used the cacao seeds the trees produced to make a frothy, bitter drink.
By the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of Mesoamerica and adopted cacao into their culture. They associated chocolate with Quetzalcoatl, who, according to one legend, was cast away by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans, and identified its extrication from the pod with the removal of the human heart in sacrifice. In contrast to the Maya, who liked their chocolate warm, the Aztecs drank it cold, seasoning it with a broad variety of additives, including the petals of the Cymbopetalum penduliflorum tree, chile pepper, allspice, vanilla, and honey. The Aztecs were not able to grow cacao themselves, as their home in the Mexican highlands was unsuitable for it, so chocolate was a luxury imported into the empire. Those who lived in areas ruled by the Aztecs were required to offer cacao seeds in payment of the tax they deemed “tribute”. Cocoa beans were often used as currency. For example, the Aztecs used a system in which one turkey cost 100 cacao beans and one fresh avocado was worth three beans.
Chocolate is derived from Theobroma cacao seeds, roasted and ground, often flavored, as with vanilla. It is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavoring ingredient in other foods. Cacao has been cultivated by many cultures for at least three millennia in Mesoamerica. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Mokaya (Mexico and Guatemala), with evidence of chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 BC. In fact, the majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl Nahuatl . The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce cacao nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because the cocoa mass is usually liquefied before being molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids. Cocoa solids are a source of flavonoids and alkaloids, such as theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine.
Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, and a vast number of foodstuffs involving chocolate have been created, particularly desserts including cakes, pudding, mousse, chocolate brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. Many candies are filled with or coated with sweetened chocolate, and bars of solid chocolate and candy bars coated in chocolate are eaten as snacks. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes (e.g., eggs, hearts) have become traditional on certain Western holidays, such as Easter and Valentine’s Day. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate and in some alcoholic drinks, such as creme de cacao. Although cocoa originated in the Americas, in the 2000s, Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, with Ivory Coast growing almost half of it. In 2009, Salvation Army International Development stated that child labor and the human trafficking and slavery of child laborers are used in African cocoa cultivation. In the United States International Chocolate Day is celebrated on 13 September, so Chocolate Ice-cream Day is observed on 7 July instead. Various other more specific chocolate-themed days are celebrated throughout the world and on various dates, including Milk Chocolate Day on 28 July.