virtualnyc-logo History of Chocolate


The Mexican Indian word "chocolate" comes from a combination of the terms "choco" (foam) and "atl" (water).
600 A.D. Mayans migrate into the northern regions of South America, establishing earliest known cocoa plantations in the Yucatan. Cocoa used as money.
Mayans and Aztecs make a drink called "xocoatl." According to Aztec Indian legend cocoa seeds were brought from Paradise and wisdom and power came from eating the fruit of the cocoa tree.
Christopher Columbus returns to Spain with cocoa beans but King Ferdinand (the fool!) overlooks them in favor of other treasures. 
In 1519, Hernando Cortez conquers the court of Emperor Moctezuma of Mexico, returns to Spain with chocolate.
The first "chocolate house" opens in London in 1657. Very expensive, it was considered a drink for the elite.
Christopher Ludwig Hoffmann's treatise Potus Chocolate recommends chocolate for many diseases.
The Industrial Revolution & mass production of chocolate spreads its popularity among the citizenry.
Chocolate introduced to the United States in 1765 in Dorchester, Mass.; first chocolate factory in the country established there.
Fishermen from Gloucester, Mass., accept cocoa beans as payment for cargo in tropical America.
In the seventeenth century, chocolate recognized as an appropriate drink for children. It is not just for wealthy, adult males anymore. 
Eating chocolate introduced in 1674 in the form of rolls and cakes, served in various chocolate emporiums.
In the 1870's, the Swiss add milk to chocolate to create the edible form Americans so often enjoy today.
New York Cocoa Exchange opens October 1, 1925, located at the World Trade Center.
In 1980 a story of chocolate espionage hits the world press - an apprentice of the Swiss company of Suchard-Tobler unsuccessfully attempts to sell secret chocolate recipes to Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.
By the 1990s, annual world consumption of cocoa beans averages approximately 600,000 tons; chocolate consumption is on the rise.