"Chocolate" – this word melts on the tongue. Simply delicious. Whether as Easter Bunny, blackboard or Santa Claus. Chocolate meets us day by day. But originally she was only drunk. Who invented the chocolate?
3,000 years old
The first people to know cocoa and chocolate were the Olmecs, an indigenous people in Central America. They lived there over 3,000 years ago. From them, the Mayas and the Aztecs took over the chocolate. The Indian peoples enjoyed chocolate as a chocolate drink.
Chocolate of a different kind
The Aztecs and Mayans prepared chocolate by mixing the roasted and ground cocoa beans with hot or cold water only. To make the coveted froth, the liquid was poured over and over again from one bowl to the other. The drink was not only bitter, it was spiced with pepper or chili powder, with vanilla, honey or rose water depending on your mood.
A royal drink
After the official discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the drinking chocolate found its way to Spain, eventually spreading through Italy and France across Europe. Chocolate was an elitist drink of the upper classes most of the time. It was not until the industrial revolution of the 19th century that chocolate became a mass product. Finally, in 1875, after many years of experimentation, Henri Nestlé and Daniel Peter invented the milk chocolate we know today as a blackboard or Easter bunny.
The name of the chocolate
When the Spaniards conquered the new world, they also got to know the chocolate drink of the Aztecs and Maya. The Aztecs called their drink "cacahuatl", which translates as "cocoa water". The Maya called the chocolate drink "chocol haa", which means "hot water". But the Spaniards had great difficulty with the Maya language. So words were mispronounced and mixed.
So one assumes today that the Spanish term "chocolate" was created because one mixed the Mayan word "chocol" (= hot) with the Aztec word "atl" (= water). This is how the word "chocolatl" was first created. The ending on "tl" is typical of the language of the Aztecs. But she caused great difficulties for the Spaniards. They could not or did not want to pronounce the "tl" correctly. They always said "te". So "chocolatl" finally became "chocolate".