It was all about chocolate yesterday at the Henry F. Schricker Public Library in Knox. Savannah Gohr, of Dove Chocolatiers, presented the program where she explained the history of chocolate.
“It actually started with the Mayans,” Gohr explained. “They were the ones that harvested and roasted the cacao seeds. They ground the seeds into a paste and mixed it with water to create the first chocolate drink and it sort of went from there.”
Cocoa comes from the cacao seed which is harvested from a tree. 1,000 years ago, cacao seeds were actually highly regarded and the cacao tree was believed to be of divine origin. The seeds were even used as currency.
The first time chocolate was manufactured in America was 1764 and it wasn’t until 1780 when chocolate actually hit the market.
“Around 1780 is when the Industrial Revolution changed the process of making the chocolate from hand-made to machine-made. Chocolate could be mass produced and it was more affordable to the general public.”
The first chocolate shop was opened by John Cadbury in 1824 in England and his son was the one who created the heart-shaped candy box for Valentine’s Day. In 1875, Daniel Peters and Henry Nestle combined the powder from the cacao bean, cocoa, and cacao butter with condensed milk and sugar to produce everyone’s favorite, milk chocolate. From there, several other companies started including Lindor Chocolates, Hershey, M&M’s, Dove and many more.
In 1900, Milton Hershey located to Derry Church, Pennsylvania where he was born. The town was later renamed Hershey in his honor and it remains as the world’s largest chocolate factory. Hershey’s Kisses were introduced in 1907.
WKVI’s Anita Goodan isn’t much of a history buff, but she certainly enjoyed this history presentation Wednesday afternoon and enjoyed a few free samples.
More entertaining programs like this are available at the library. Check their website for more information.