Once Reserved For Royalty, Now Chocolate Is For Everyone
Many of us like or even love chocolate in at least one of its forms. Chocolate can be found in a variety of forms. All chocolate starts out as beans, we most of us enjoy it either as a powder or liquid you can add to drinks, or as candy bars. Even though many of us like chocolate we really don't know where it all started.
When chocolate was first brought to England by the Spanish it was as a drink. The drink was bittersweet due to the fact that it was made with chili peppers. It did not take long for the chili peppers to be replaced with sugar and make the drink even better. Many people could not afford this luxury drink, but it was enjoyed by the royalty.
It did not take long for other countries to challenge Spain's monopoly on cocoa. After cocoa became more available the price went down and more people could enjoy it. This would also lead to people experimenting with cocoa and using it in cakes and pastries.
When people first starting eating candy bars they were also bittersweet just like the drink. Henry Nestle, the maker of evaporated milk, and Daniel Peter, a chocolate maker, got together and made milk chocolate. This milk chocolate bar is now preferred by 80% of the world's population.
In 1893 there was a World's Fair held in Chicago that Milton S. Hershey attended. It was at this fair that he spotted the chocolate making machinery that was on display. Hershey had made his fortune in the caramel business, but saw the potential chocolate had. Hershey decided to install the machinery in his factory and started producing candy bars in 1894. It did not take long for other Americans to start adding ingredients to the candy bars to make new candy bars.
Even though candy bars were becoming more popular, they didn't get a lot of attention until World War I. During the war chocolate manufacturers sent 20 to 40 pound blocks of chocolate to the bases. These big blocks of chocolate were split up into smaller pieces and distributed to the soldiers. By the time the war was over and the dough boys returned they had come to like chocolate. The popularity of chocolate spread from them to the general public.
The war is what insured that the chocolate business would make it. Soon after chocolate gained popularity more and more manufacturers began to manufacture chocolate. Soon the chocolate industry had 40,000 varieties available. The twenties became the high point in the candy bar industry which remains popular to this day.