History of chocolate

Over 3000 years of goodness

Loved by famous people such as Marie Antoinette and Carlo Goldoni, Fidel Castro and D'Annunzio, chocolate has very ancient origins.

The cocoa plant already existed over 6000 years ago in South America, but it was with the Maya - around 1000 BC - that the production of chocolate began, often associated with the fertility goddess Xochiquetzal and taken during important ceremonies in liquid form with l adding vanilla, chilli and pepper, corn flour or honey.

In 1502 cocoa landed in Europe thanks to Christopher Columbus. About 80 years later, the first commercial shipment leaves from Veracruz to Seville.

It was between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that cocoa was imported to Italy, to Piedmont, where - at the end of the 1700s - Doret created the first parlor chocolate.

In 1867 milk began to be included among the ingredients until milk chocolate as we know it today was marketed. A process perfected in 1879 by Rudolph Lindt who, with conching, managed to keep it melted for a long time, obtaining a unique homogeneity and creaminess.

Chocolate, my best friend

Some recognized scientific studies on the properties of cocoa speak clearly.

Very rich in theobromine, it helps in cases of acute heart failure, delays the hardening of the arteries in smokers and reduces blood pressure due to the effect of polyphenols, antioxidants which are the basis of the same positive effects on the heart that red wine has.

Moving from the body to the mind, the benefits of chocolate on mood are also documented thanks to the content of phenylethylamine, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in falling in love.

Finally, just as Giacomo Casanova claimed, it is a timeless weapon of seduction, because it increases sexual desire.

Fresh, dry, closed: the secrets for correct conservation

As long as they can resist at least some of the dangers of those with a sweet tooth, it is certainly useful to know how to best preserve chocolate and pralines.

The ideal is to be kept cool, in a dry place and in an airtight manner, avoiding sudden changes in temperature during transport.

Excessive heat could cause "fat bloom": a white patina that does not alter the flavor but certainly the aesthetic pleasantness.

While too much moisture leads to “sugar bloom,” which makes the surface rough and uneven, oxidation is the result of prolonged exposure to light and air.

Finally, a curiosity.

Dark chocolate contains, due to its high percentage of cocoa, a greater quantity of antioxidants. So, the darker the chocolate, the longer it will last. They range from a minimum of two years for dark, to one year for white.