Etymologists trace the origin of the word "chocolate" to the Aztec word "xocoatl," which referred to a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans. The Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means "food of the gods."
History of Chocolate - Ancient to Modern Times
Chocolate has been a favorite of man for thousands of years. Ancient people brewing the seeds of the cacao tree into a yummy beverage was the beginning of the wide assortment of chocolates that we enjoy today.
Once chocolate was discovered by European conquests, it became a treat only the wealthiest could afford. Not only was chocolate expensive, but it was bitter. Sugar and spices used to sweeten it were expensive too and out of the common man's reach. It was in the 1800's that the industrial age and mass production made chocolate candy affordable for everyone.
Chocolate candy became a big hit in stores in the form of the candy bar. It took its place proudly on the general store shelf next to the gum drop, hard candy and candy cane bins of the day. From that meager beginning, the varieties available today are mind boggling. Chocolate candy is available in many different flavors, shapes and with limitless ingredients. Some ingredients such as nuts and fruits are complimentary to the flavor and texture of the chocolate and left whole or diced inside the candy bar. Spices and other flavorings are also added to enhance the chocolate or add interesting flavor notes. Some people can taste a story in their chocolate candy. The flavor medley tells them through their tongue what region of the world each ingredient came from. Travel by chocolate!
Chocolate can also be enjoyed either inside a candy coating or as a coating itself over other yummy treats such as ice cream.
Today many people buy candy online. With the invention of the World Wide Web, you can snack on exotic chocolate candy delicacies made anywhere in the world. Innovations in chocolate recipes and shipping ensure you receive your chocolate candy in perfect condition.
There is also a wide variety of chocolate molds and candy making accessories for you to try your hand at making your own chocolate candy. It's a fun way to get children involved in the kitchen and also a great way to make personalized gifts. The possibilities are endless in the flavors and ingredients to test. A lot of very successful candy companies started this way, as a hobby in a home kitchen.
Who knows, perhaps one day when that chocolate connoisseur boots up his pc and logs on to buy candy online, the website with the interesting flavors to sample that he chooses to order from may be your own!