Today is World Chocolate Day, and in our books, the best day of the year. To celebrate, we’ll be enjoying our favourite Lir Chocolates all day, guilt-free. We’re also looking back at the story behind the world's sweetest treat. As the story goes, World Chocolate Day is celebrated on July 7 because it was on this day in 1550 that chocolate was introduced to Europe, but chocolate dates back much farther.
A brief history of chocolate
In fact, with its origins in Mexico, and Central and South America, cacao is said to have been cultivated as far back as 1100 B.C.
For much of chocolate’s history, it was consumed as a beverage and believed to have magical properties. Cacao seeds were used by the Mayans to create ceremonial drinks, flavoured with vanilla and chili pepper.
After Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes landed in Mexico, he brought cacao beans back to Spain, where it spread throughout Europe as Spanish friars travelled from monastery to monastery.
From the Palace of Versailles to London’s first chocolate house, cacao beverages had gained a global fan base but was reserved for the rich until the steam engine eventually made it available to the masses.
In 1847, Fry and Sons created the first chocolate bar as we know it today, and the rest is, as they say, history.
Happy World Chocolate Day!