History of Chocolate

chocolate timeline

1500 BCE-400 BCE

1500 BCE-400 BCE - The Olmec Indians are believed to be the first to grow cocoa beans as a domestic crop.

250-900 C.E. [A.D.]. The Mayans and their ancestors in Mesoamerica took the tree from the rainforest and grew it in their own backyards, where they harvested, fermented, roasted, ground the seeds into a paste, and made it into an unsweetened cocoa drink. Mayans established the earliest known cocoa plantations in the Yucatan.

1300's - The drink became popular among the Aztec upper classes who upsurped the cocoa beverage from the Mayans and were the first to tax the beans. The Aztecs called it "xocalatl" meaning warm or bitter liquid.

1400's - Aztec empire dominated a sizeable segment of Mesoamerica. The Aztecs traded with Maya and other peoples for cacao and often required that citizens and conquered peoples pay their tribute in cacao seeds-a form of Aztec money.

1502 - Christopher Columbus's 4th voyage encounters a great Mayan trading canoe in Guanaja carrying cocoa beans as cargo to Spain.

1519 - Emperor Montezuma, who reportedly drank 50 or more portions daily, served chocolate to his Spanish guests in great golden goblets, treating it like a food for the gods. Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez seeded plantations on Trinidad, Haiti, and the West African island of Bioko to grow "money" to trade with Aztecs for gold.

1570 - Cocoa gained popularity as a medicine and aphrodisiac in Europe.

1657 - The first chocolate house was opened in London called the The Coffee Mill and Tobacco Roll. Chocolate was considered a beverage for the elite class.


1674 - Eating solid chocolate was introduced in the form of chocolate rolls and cakes, served in chocolate emporiums.

1732 - Table Mill invented for grinding chocolate.

Chocolate Comes To North America

1765 - The first chocolate Factory was established in Massachusetts. Chocolate was introduced when cocoa beans were imported from the West Indies into Dorchester, Massachusetts.


1795 - Steam engine employed for grinding cocoa beans, an invention that led to the manufacture of chocolate on a large factory scale.


1828 - The invention of the cocoa press, helped cut prices and improve the quality of chocolate.

1847 - The first modern chocolate bar was created by mixing some of the cocoa butter back into the cocoa powder, and added sugar, creating a paste that could be molded.

1875 - Daniel Peter, from Switzerland with the help from Henri Nestle, created the first milk chocolate.  A new delicious way to enjoy chocolate.

1897 - The first known published recipe for chocolate brownies appeared in the Sears and Roebuck Catalogue.


1910 - First nickel chocolate bar marketed.


1913 - Machine used for manufacturing filled chocolates.

World War II, the U.S. government recognized chocolate's role in the nourishment and group spirit of the Allied Armed Forces, so much so that it allocated valuable shipping space for the importation of cocoa beans.

1989 - Joel Fink starts Fantasy Candies Chocolate Factory in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a fantasy of Joel's since childhood to make chocolate.

1991- After learning some new candy making techniques, Fink develops Chocolate drizzled popcorn. With a unique hybrid popcorn kernel, and Swiss style chocolates, Fantasy Candies first star was born.

2006 - SweetDreams 72 is created after 15 years of research and development. Chocolate expert Joel Fink perfected the blend of hi-cocoa chocolate and makes the finest, and most delicious dark chocolate. Never bitter and very high in flavanoid antioxidants, the health benefits are extensive.