Where does Chocolate come from?
From Latin America to the modern day, chocolate has come a long way to get to you. Have you ever asked yourself these questions: How was chocolate invented? Where did chocolate originate? How did chocolate become part of the Magnum ice cream we enjoy today? Then join us for a journey through the fascinating history of chocolate, the world’s favorite sweet treat...
Who invented chocolate?
The history of chocolate begins its 4,000 years of history in ancient Mesoamerica, present day Mexico and the birthplace of chocolate. It’s here that the first cacao plants, the plant which chocolate is made from, were found. The Olmec, one of the earliest civilizations in Latin America, were the first to turn the cacao plant into chocolate. They drank an ancient chocolate drink during rituals and used it as medicine.
Centuries later, the Mayans praised chocolate as the drink of the gods. Mayan chocolate was a revered brew made of roasted and ground cacao seeds mixed with chilies, water and cornmeal. Mayans poured this mixture from one pot to another, creating a thick foamy beverage called “xocolatl”, meaning “bitter water.”
By the 15th century, the Aztecs used cocoa beans as currency. They believed that chocolate was a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl, and drank it as a refreshing beverage, an aphrodisiac, and even to prepare for war.
When did chocolate come to Europe?
No one knows for sure when chocolate came to Europe. Legend has it that explorer Hernán Cortés brought chocolate to his homeland of Spain in 1528.
Cortés was believed to have discovered chocolate during an expedition to the Americas. In search of gold and riches, he instead found a cup of cocoa given to him by the Aztec emperor.
When Cortés returned home, he introduced cocoa seeds to the Spanish. Though still served as a drink, Spanish chocolates were mixed with sugar and honey to sweeten the naturally bitter taste.
Chocolate quickly became popular among the rich and wealthy in Spain. Even Catholic monks loved chocolate and drank it to aid religious practices.
Chocolate seduces Europe
The Spanish kept chocolate quiet for a very long time. It was nearly a century before the treat reached neighboring France, and then the rest of Europe.
In 1615, French King Louis XIII married Anne of Austria, daughter of Spanish King Phillip III. To celebrate the union, she brought samples of chocolate to the royal courts of France.
Following France’s lead, chocolate soon appeared in Britain at special “chocolate houses”. As the trend spread through Europe, many nations set up their own cacao plantations in countries along the equator.
A Chocolate Revolution
The history of chocolate continues as the treat remained immensely popular among European aristocracy. Royals and the upper classes consumed chocolate for its health benefits as well as its decadence.
Chocolate in Europe was still being produced by hand, which was a slow and laborious process. But with the Industrial Revolution around the corner, things were about to change.
In 1828, the invention of the chocolate press revolutionized chocolate making. This innovative device could squeeze cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans, leaving a fine cocoa powder behind.
The powder was then mixed with liquids and poured into a mold, where it solidified into an edible bar of chocolate.
And just like that, the modern era of chocolate was born.
Modern-Day Magnum ice cream
Fast forward a couple of centuries and the Magnum ice cream bars appears on the scene. In 1989, Magnum ice cream first launched the classic chocolate ice cream bar you know and love. But the history and origin of chocolate will always be a part of our story.
Magnum’s origins lie in Belgium, where our premium Belgian chocolate producer developed a unique chocolate coating with the signature crack to complement smooth vanilla ice cream.
But just one flavor was not enough. In 1992, several new Magnum ice cream bars were released, including White Chocolate and Almond. From Minis to Double and Duets, we’ve been elevating chocolate indulgence ever since.
So next time you take a bite into your favorite Magnum ice cream, take a moment to savor the taste and the story of chocolate.
A rich coat of chocolate and ice cream infused with Madagascan Bourbon vanilla.
Luxurious, bittersweet and tempting. Dark chocolate is a rich in flavour treat.
White chocolate’s creaminess is perfect for ice cream. Why is it so delectable?