About chocolate

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Did you know

...4 million tones of cocoa seed is produced annually in the world that will, with further treatment, give various chocolates and chocolate products, from the ones for wide consumption to the luxurious and even extremely costly ones?

…the chocolate market is worth over 80 billion dollars and that cocoa and chocolate provide livelihoods for around 50 million people around the world? However, the production, the consumption and the profit are not evenly divided…

…even though the homeland of cocoa is the American continent, of the whole world’s seed production around 70% is from the West and the Middle Africa, mostly from the 2 million small, family plantations?

…cocoa is grown in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, America and Asia but almost the half of the seed is primarily processed (the production of the chocolate mass, cocoa and cocoa-butter) in Europe, mostly in Holland and Germany?

…the biggest gourmets of chocolate in the world live in Switzerland where annually 10kg is bought per a citizen and it is the least attractive to the Brazilians where that amount is around 1kg?

…the residents of Europe and the USA annually eat 1700 or 1300 grams of chocolate in average, while in Africa, a resident gets only 150 grams?

…from the 2/3 of African cocoa, almost a half comes from the plantations of Ivory Coast? Not only do the favorable climate conditions have an effect, but the extremely cheap labor too…

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Chocolate history

1900. BC – It was the people of Olmec that first drank chocolate. They made it from cocoa seed that they had already been growing at the plantations.

1300. BC – The word COCOUA (cocoa) appears, that has been established in a form nearly the same as the original word until today. The Olmec people used it for cocoa yields.

600. BC – In the Maya civilization chocolate was drunk with rich foam that was made whilst blowing the air into a special container.

250. – The Mayas used chocolate for rituals and ceremonies and apart from the kings, only privileged members of the higher ranks were allowed to drink it.

600. – The Mayas were trading in cocoa seed whilst exchanging it for, among other things, precious obsidian from which they made different kinds of things.

750. – The Mayas started to make chocolate foam whilst decanting it from one container to the other.

900. – The People of Toltec succeeded the Mayas’ cities and took over their religion and soon after, the chocolate drinking tradition too.

1375. – The Aztec people settled down in the regions where the Mayas and the Toltecs had lived and they inherited the chocolate drinking tradition.

1450. – In the advanced Aztecs’ trade there was a special kind of merchants- ‘’the walkers’’- and thanks to them the cocoa seed reached the North and the South of America.

1517. – The Spaniards tried chocolate for the first time. However, they didn’t like it because it was too bitter and dark for their taste and its foam was unpleasant.

1519. – It is believed that this was the year when the king Mintensum II hosted Hernan Cortes, the conqueror of the Aztec civilization and served him chocolate.

1538. – The Europeans were served with chocolate officially for the first time. It was the golden goblets that it was served in during the Spanish banquet in Mexico City.

1544. – Dominican monks brought cocoa seed from Mexico to Spain as a gift to Prince Philip.

1569. – Pope Pius V approved the drinking of the chocolate during the fast which was approved by the all popes in the next 190 years.

1585. – The first commercial cargo of cocoa seed came in Spain from the Veracruz port in Mexico.

1609. – Juan de Barrios wrote the first book about chocolate in Mexico: Libro en el cual se trata del chocolate.

1615. – Spanish princess Anne of Austria, who married King Luis XIII, brought chocolate on the court.

1657. – The first “House of Chocolate” was founded where hot chocolate was served.

1705. – The first recipe for making chocolate was published. However, it was made with milk, not with water (Pierre Masson – Le parfait cafetier).

1730. – The mechanical chopping up of the cocoa seed started.

1753. – Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus established the scientific term for cocoa – theobroma cacao

1828. – Dutchman Caspar Van Houten, invented the press device for separating cocoa butter from cocoa powder which resulted in chocolate making turning point.

1900. – Switzerland took over the main role in the chocolate business from Spain.

XX century

1912. – Jean Neuhaus Junior made the first chocolate with filling that he named Praline.

1925. – The New York stock market for chocolate was opened.

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1996. – Kompanija Art-Ival iz Beograda počela sa proizvodnjom čokoladnih dražeja Premier

XXI century

2010. – The first Gallery of Chocolate Premier was opened in Belgrade, Bulevar kralja Aleksandra.

2011. – The second Gallery of Chocolate Premier was opened in Belgrade, Obilicev venac.

2012. – The first Gallery of Chocolate Premier was moved from Bulevar kralja Aleksandra to Mercator centre in Novi Beograd.