1. 250-900 AD – Ancient Mayans Fill Their Mugs
The Mayan civilization is credited with being the first to fully appreciate the cacao tree and were the first who preferred to drink it. The seeds were harvested, fermented, roasted, and finally ground into a syrupy paste which became the final beverage drunk cold.
2) 1400 – 1500 Aztecs go Crazy for Cacao
The Aztecs developed trade routes with the Maya and quickly began to share their affection for cacao, the earliest incarnations of which offered such an energy boost that their warriors often drank it before going into battle. Like the Maya, the Aztecs consumed their bitter chocolate libation, which they called “Xocolatl”, seasoned with spices.
3) 1519 – Disappointed Spaniards Coin a Term
Spanish conquistadors arriving in the New World found the word Xocolatl almost impossible to pronounce and eventually morphed it to the more phonically pleasant ‘Chocolat’.
4) 1521 – Cortez Finds the Missing Ingredient
The Spanish began to ship it home and even adopted the Aztec custom of drinking chocolate. The famous explorer Cortez is attributed with being the first person to use sugar in addition to spices.
5) 1657 – Europe Will Never be the Same
The new-and-improved sweetened version of “chocolate” soon was acclaimed throughout Europe as a delicious, invigorating and health-giving food. Chocolate drinking spread across the English Channel to Britain, and in 1657 the first of many famous English Chocolate Houses appeared.
6) 1728 – A New English Tradition
England was quick to adopt chocolate and it was here that flavors and preparation were mastered and refined. Joseph Fry of Fry & Sons (founded 1728 in Bristol) is credited with producing and selling the world’s first chocolate bar.
7) 1765 – Coco for the Colonies
In the burgeoning United States the production of chocolate evolved at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world and in 1765 the first state side chocolate factory was established in New England.
8 ) 1800 – A Tasty Industrial Revolution
Greater quantities saw the steep prices plummeting, and for the first time chocolate could be afforded by the general public. The Industrial Revolution witnessed the development of an enormous number of new mechanical inventions and ushered in the era of the chocolate factory.
10) 1925 – Chocolate as Big Business
The most recent major milestone in the history of chocolate was the founding of the New York Cocoa Exchange in 1925. The exchange officially recognized cacao as a valuable stock commodity which could be bought and sold on the open market.
*This information was found at Buzzle.com where expanded information is available.