Chocolate Underground

Welcome to the Chocolate Underground

I hope you are as passionate about chocolate as I am. I dedicate this website to all things chocolate. Here you will learn about cocoa's past and future, health benefits, and much more. ENJOY!     ~ Sarah M, Resident Chocolate Wizard

Cocoa: A Brief History

large letter c at beginning of paragraphocoa and other chocolate products are enjoyed by billions of people around the globe, but surprisingly few people know the history of the confection. In fact, cocoa has appeared in different cultures worldwide for hundreds of years. Cocoa was first developed as a crop in many ancient South American cultures, with the Aztecs and Mayans being the most well-known of these indigenous populations. Researchers have found evidence of cocoa-based food dating back several thousand years.

cocoa pods and beansThe modern word “chocolate” stems from two words in Nahuatl, the language spoken by many native groups: chocolatl, which translated literally means “hot water,” and cacahuatl, which referred to a bitter beverage made with cocoa that was shared during religious ceremonies.The cacao bean was so significant to the local cultures that it was used as a currency in trade, given to warriors as a post-battle reward, and served at royal feasts.

The Spanish could not hold onto their secret forever, and chocolate quickly spread across the rest of western Europe. Chocolate—then still exclusively in the form of a drink—appeared in France, and then England, in royal courts and special “chocolate houses” that served the social elite. Hot chocolate was hailed by the upper classes as both delicious and healthy, and cocoa ultimately gained the reputation of being an aphrodisiac.

Cocoa Today

two cocoa farmers harvesting cocoa pds in an orchard Throughout its centuries-long evolution, one factor has remained consistent and cocoa has attracted devotees worldwide. Today, over 4.5 million tons of cocoa beans are consumed annually around the globe, in everything from drinks to candy bars. It’s safe to say that the ancient Mesoamericans who pioneered the crop could never have imagined the popularity cocoa would someday experience.

To secure the future of chocolate and ensure that it’s available for generations to come, it’s essential that sustainable farming practices and ethical means of production are implemented in the cocoa supply chain. WCF has teamed up with over 100 companies around the world to make the cocoa supply chain more sustainable. Click the the image of the cocoa farmers to learn more about sustainable production

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Chocolate history from World Cocoa Foundation (click for source)

Copyright © 2023 - Jim Talarski