Where Does Chocolate Come From? | Friars Chocolate

We all love the stuff; but where does chocolate come from, what is its history and where did it all start.

Well, it has its beginnings set in Mesoamerica, (Middle America) stretching back to 450 BC when the people of that time enjoyed fermented beverages made from chocolate. We can imagine even now how those ancient civilisations would settle back for a luxurious bowl of chocolate before retiring for the night. It is perhaps not surprising that the Aztecs believed that cacao (cocoa) seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom. Indeed who could argue against the wisdom of the deity responsible for introducing the world to this most wonderful form of foodstuff.

Chocolate as a currency

Such was the importance of cacao in the Aztec world it became a currency and was used by those subject to their rule as payment of tax. Oh yes, the matter of the wisdom of Quetzalcoatl. Not so wise in the eyes of his fellow gods for introducing chocolate to humans apparently. Most of us would of course disagree with his contemporaries and are more than pleased he did so. Perhaps it is somewhat due to that ancient elevated position of chocolate that even now it is considered an item of luxurious and wonderful intent. Given as a special gift, a display of affection or maybe just for ones personal, pleasurable consumption. It certainly ticks many boxes in the modern world. Consider then the similarities of two vastly different eras. The Aztecs considered it an aphrodisiac, it was drank cold and given to soldiers as part of their rations.

Baker or chocolatier preparing chocolate bonbons whisking the melted chocolate with a whisk dripping onto the counter below

Chocolate in modern times

Fast forward and today we give luxury boxes of chocolates as a show of love and affection, we usually drink it hot however, as did the Mayans, but even during World war 2 it was given as an essential ration to American soldiers.

If there is a difference between then and now, perhaps it is most noticeable in the manner in which we now present our ‘gift from the gods’. The luxury chocolate is something to be admired and is often a thing of considerable craft and beauty to behold whilst a most desirable thing to be consumed. Its a rather strange thought that something so lovingly and skilfully crafted is destined to be consumed in such a short period of self indulgent delight. But there is nothing quite like it is there?

Take the chocolate Truffle for example. Now we are reaching into the realms of real quality and decadent luxury in a box!

The truffle is a most satisfyingly luxurious drenching of the taste buds in a chocolate induced moment of bliss. The smooth flow of chocolate, followed by the discovery of the sensational tasting ganache encased within (can be around) brings an instant explosion of satisfaction. The tongue is entranced and the spirit soothed by the indulgence only truly luxurious chocolates can give.

Why the price varies for chocolate

Why are they more expensive? It is due to the quality of the ingredients and the level of skill in production. More cocoa from responsible sources, less vegetable oil, more craft and skill employed to produce outstanding chocolates with amazingly decadent centres and coatings. Also, as befits a product of such high standards there is the matter of suitably matched packaging which, whilst still from responsible sources and manufacture processes demands to be equally special. Lets be honest. Who wants to give the love of their life a selection of top Truffle chocolates in a small white paper bag? They’re not going to be as well received as a strikingly adorned recyclable crafted box of the same truffles. Leastways, not in most relationships.

Therefore the giving of a high quality selection of chocolates should in itself make a statement from the outset. Such chocolate compilations should look great and taste extraordinary and that is what we endeavour to bring to our customers. The whole package should be a matter of, ‘look at these’ and elude to the fact the recipient really is worth the gesture. So to impress and delight your own dearest and nearest be sure to peruse our own unique truffle compilations. Be quick though, nothing this good lasts forever. Since 450 BC perhaps but …………….they didn’t have the internet!

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