The History of Chocolate

Chocolate is the ideal food for all occasions, emotions, and feelings. We eat it when we are happy, sad, excited, laughing and crying, and here at Gnaw we consider it to be one of the best aspects of life. Not only for you, but for everyone across the world! This being said, have you ever considered where chocolate comes from? It’s not as simple as you might have thought, and we would love to share this great insight with you.

The Origin of Chocolate

If you did not know chocolate actually originates in the ancient Maya of Mesoamerica, also known as South America, but this was very different to the chocolate we know and love today. Certainly nothing like our delicious scrummy Gnaw chocolate bars! As you might already know, it all starts with a cocoa bean, from which delicious chocolate can be created. These beans were ground down and then mixed with water, for a very bitter, frothy drink, nothing like our delicious hot chocolate shots! Spices were even added to it too!

It was actually thought, in Mayan and Aztec history that chocolate was a gift from the gods. Within the Aztecs it was given to warriors after battle, and used during religious rituals, and even used as cacao beans as a currency, considered even more valuable than gold.

The journey of Chocolate to Europe

For us to be able to make our fantastic Gnaw chocolate, it needed to make its way to Europe! So how did chocolate come to Europe? Well, this occurred during the 16th century when a man called Hernán Cortés travelled from Spain to South America, where he was introduced to spicy chocolate cocoa bean drink. Which he loved enough to make sure he took some back with him to Spain. Bringing the cocoa bean to Europe!

Chocolate was very much the go to ‘drink’, which was improved, when it was found you could make a delicious powder if the fat was separated from the cocoa bean to create a fine powder. This then could be added to milk, taking a step in the direction of the hot chocolates we know and love today. Although it has nothing on our Gnaw Hot Chocolate shots, that are great additions for a gift for a loved one with flavours from smooth milk hot chocolate shots to boozy infused hot chocolate with Cherry Brandy Hot Chocolate being a favourite of the Gnaw squirrels here.

The Uses of Chocolate

Throughout history chocolate has been used for a whole variety of things, as well as making yummy treats for special occasions. It has been used for medicines, having shown previously to have positive health benefits! It has also been used to help administer bitter medications, but now it has been rediscovered for its value as supplemental nutrition. Chocolate actually generates interesting physiological effects, as it is likely to promote or maintain health, as well as having great therapeutic abilities.

Chocolate Today

Chocolate can be used for so many different things, and simply one of the best ways to put a smile on anyone’s face. Here at Gnaw we carefully handcraft delicious chocolate for you to enjoy, in many different exciting flavours! We can now create artisan chocolate for different dietary requirements as well, including vegan friendly chocolate and gluten free chocolate options too.

Chocolate has come a long way from when it was first used, and we know you will not be disappointed with the scrummy chocolate we have on offer.