The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions.

The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of many strange and wonderful things. Click here

Growing the Cocoa Bean  |   Varieties of Cacao  |   Crop for Shipment  |   How to Make Cocoa Powder
Bean to Chocolate  |   What is Conching?  |   Automation Does the Job  |   A Sanitary Atmosphere
Eating Chocolates  |   Growing Chocolates  |   Chocolates just for kids

Eating Chocolates

Most of us know chocolate as a deliciously decadent sweet that we eat in cookies, cakes, candy bars, and other desserts. But around the world, many people have prepared chocolate as a bitter, frothy drink—or even as part of a main meal served at dinnertime.

And, chocolate isn’t simply a snack or key ingredient in cooking. Over the centuries, many cultures have used the seeds from which chocolate is made—cacao (kah KOW)—as a sacred symbol in religious ceremonies. Plus, medicinal remedies featuring chocolate have been used as household curatives across the globe.

Select which part of chocolate’s use in foods, faith, or physical health you’d like to examine first:

Introduction: Eating and Using Chocolate

For a quick introduction to eating chocolate, check out this brief summary. You’ll learn how chocolate has been prepared in favorite foods, used as a symbol of religion and power, and treated as a cure for illnesses throughout the centuries.

Cooking with Chocolate

Explore the international appeal of chocolate as a favorite flavoring loved around the world. You can download delicious recipes that feature chocolate in traditional and contemporary dishes from many different cultures.

The Lure and Lore of Chocolate

Delve into the details of chocolate’s role in religion and romance to find out how eating chocolate has taken on symbolic significance throughout history. You’ll discover how cultures around the world have used chocolate and its botanical source, cacao, to worship gods, win political favor, and woo loved ones.

Chocolate: Quick Health Facts

Check out this quick-reference guide to chocolate’s reputed medicinal properties and get answers to the most common questions about chocolate and health. You’ll uncover the fact and fiction behind some of the most common misconceptions and beliefs about chocolate.