Saaransh : Mom, since Lord Ganesha has arrived at our place, I am feeling very excited and happy.
Mom : Yes, we all are super excited. Arrival of lord Ganesha has made the surrounding full of energy and positivity.
Saaransh : Mom which delicacy will we offer to our beloved Ganesha?
Mom : Do you have something in your mind?
Saaransh : Hmmm let’s make chocolate modak tomorrow.
Mom : Oh! Someone wants to eat chocolate. Fine tomorrow’s delicacy would be Chocolate modak.
Saaransh : Yay! Which story would you tell me today?
Mom : Well, today’s story is of chocolate invention.
Saaransh : Oh! Mom, today I will hear the story about chocolate and tomorrow I will get to eat it. Too much fun.
Mom : It’s difficult to pin down exactly when was chocolate born. As per historians Chocolate has a history of centuries. Mayans from Mexico were the first ones to make chocolate drink.
Saaransh : Who are Mayans?
Mom : People from American civilization of Mexico dates back to pre – Columbian America.
Saaransh : Do you mean before Columbus discovered America?
Mom : Yes, the society of people living in Central America.
Cacao plants were native to tropical rainforest of central America near which Mayan used to live. They crushed Cacao beans and cooked with water expecting delicious drink. But it tasted bitter, so they added some chili powder and honey to make it edible drink.
Saaransh : Chili powder in chocolate?
Mom : Yes, dear they made such drink and used to consume it on special occasions.
There is one more belief of Mesoamericans (Central America) that cacao beans are gift from God of wisdom, Quetzalcoatl who was expelled from God of circle for sharing this precious treasure with humans.
Saaransh : Oh! So coco beans were considered as God’s gift.
Mom : Hmm
There was time when cacao beans used as currency for trading. Money grew on trees!
Saaransh : Ok, it means at that time things were exchanged in return of cacao beans.
Mom : Actually
Till the cacao beans reach Europe it was consumed as spicy drink.
Christopher Columbus who discovered America believed to have bring the cacao beans to Europe. But amongst other valuables he got during his world exploration expeditions beans were neglected. It was his fellow explorer Don Herman Cortes who realized importance of cacao beans and introduced it to the Europe. The chocolate drink still remained an exclusive for rich and eminent people in Europe.
Dutch chemist Coenraad Johannes van Houten invented coco press which revolutionized chocolate making. This invention reduced the production cost resulting in making chocolate affordable to masses.
In 1847 British company J. S. Fry & Sons chocolate factory invented the first bar of chocolate. They mixed the coco powder, sugar with coco butter to make a bar. Chocolate bar used to be sandy in texture at that time.
But the credit of improving moderate quality chocolates to finer quality goes to the Swiss chocolate manufacturer and inventor Rodolphe Lindt. Rodolphe started his chocolate journey with a training job in chocolate company followed by setting up of manufacturing unit. He developed a Conching machine, a lengthwise stirring device which gave finer consistency and let undesired aroma evaporate. This innovation contributed greatly to the melting quality and delicate flavors of Swiss chocolate
Saaransh : Even I love Lindt Excellence chocolate. They are super velvety.
Mom : True, due to its quality, Swiss (Lindt) chocolates are still famous all over the world.
But Rodolphe sold his factory and chocolate making secrets to the then fellow chocolate manufacturer & trader Rudolf Sprungli. This laid a foundation to the todays Lindt & Sprungli company, a premium quality chocolate manufacturer.
Saaransh : Oh!
Mom : Saaransh, now it's time to say good night! Sweet dreams
Saaransh : Good night mom!