The use of Cacao is archaeologically proven to be part of human life and diet since thousands of years. Chocolate, as the result of Cacao beans grinding, was for the Mayan and Aztecs civilization a very important ingredient in their diet, especially amongst the wealthiest people; but what was more than that, Cacao was actually used as a currency and they attributed different health benefits.
When the conqueror Hernan Cortez defeated Montezuma, emperor of the Aztecs, he expected to find mountains of gold and instead he found mountains of Cacao beans. He then realized was a valuable thing to bring back to the king. Wealthy European people started to follow the Mayans and Aztecs royalties’ habit of consuming the beverage with a slightly different kind of serving. They used milk, honey and sugar to make it more accessible to their palate and soon all Europe was invaded by this powerful beverage.
They wanted a hot chocolate beverage ready to use just by adding hot water, that’s the reason why today we do have Chocolate Bars.
The biggest problem was that you cannot add any liquids to chocolate, so milk couldn’t be added until when in Switzerland Milk powder was produced and they could finally process the first Milk Chocolate bar.
From that moment on, big Corporations handled the Chocolate production.
In the Industrial production, there is no space for quality but just for quantity. The poor quality Cacao, is over roasted and flavoring added to obtain the same meaningless flavor repeated over the years. Cacao and its up to 600 compounds, were given way less importance then the packaging of their product.
Cacao butter was substituted from cheap oils, workers were paid less, they used child labor and human rights violations. Billion of dollars are spent on Chocolate and yet the Cacao is sold for a bit more than a dollar per kg.
Since a couple of decades a movement of chocolate producers used the opposite fashion. They do produce smaller batches of Chocolate, they do care about the quality of the Cacao, about the farmers who produce the cacao and they do take care of all the people who work for them.
They do care about the consumers and often the planet.
Gianni Simei, Indigena Cafe & Chocolate creator.
This article is followed by “Why good Chocolate is expensive?”