The Discovery of Cocoa

There can’t be many people who can resist the temptation of a delicious bar of chocolate. It’s one of life’s great pleasures and, if you ask me, it should be given out free of charge just to make people’s lives that little bit more enjoyable.

Sadly, we have to pay for it, but it’s worth every penny. The cocoa bean, from which we derive this delectable treat, has a long and wonderfully romantic history, stretching back over 2,000 years. It has featured prominently in every era since, as people have sought, craved and devoured this delicacy.

The cocoa bean was first discovered in the sultry forests of Central and South America. Like many of these things, I wonder how on earth anyone realized that these strange looking pods could be harvested and processed into something edible and I guess we’ll never know the answer to that. We can only be grateful that whatever process of trial and error they went through eventually led to chocolate.

I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised at the ingenuity of those who first created chocolate, as it was the ancient civilizations of the Maya and Aztecs who are credited as being the original chocolatiers. These people were innovators extraordinaire and if anyone was likely to reveal the sumptuous secrets of the cocoa pod, it was them. Their secret wasn’t safe for too long, however, as the Spanish conquistadors took some of the pods (amongst other things) back home with them and the magic of chocolate spread to Europe.