Unwrap the fascinating story of chocolate through the ages.
Learn about global history through the lens of one of our most beloved foods — chocolate!
Stories of the origin of chocolate are included in religious prophecies of Olmec, Mayan, Toltec and Aztec cultures.
Beans are roasted, then the nibs ground on a heated stone metate with spices and other ingredients to produce chocolate.
The Maya are the first civilization to record the farming of cacao.
Hernán Cortés discovers that the Aztecs use cocoa beans for currency.
Aztec emperor Montezuma II introduces chocolate to Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés. Montezuma II is believed to consume up to 50 cups of chocolate per day.
Cortés brings cocoa beans and chocolate drink-making equipment to Spain.
Chocolate is introduced to France with the marriage of Louis XIII of France to Anne of Austria.
The first record of chocolate being sold in London, England. Shortly afterwards, England captures the Caribbean island of Jamaica and imports cocoa.
A public house in Boston starts selling chocolate produced in Europe.
A hand-operated chocolate machine is advertised for sale in a Boston newspaper.
Carl von Linne (Linnaeus) also known as the “father of modern taxonomy,” gives cacao the botanical name Theobroma cacao, translated as “cacao, food of the gods.”
During the French and Indian War, Benjamin Franklin procures chocolate for the British soldiers fighting the French.
J. S. Fry & Sons, Ltd., develop the first solid chocolate bar by blending together cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar.
Swiss chocolate maker Rodolphe Lindt invents the process of conching, which blends chocolate into a smooth, more palatable finished product.
Swiss confectioner Jean Tobler develops the process of tempering chocolate, producing the shiny finish and “snap” when a chocolate bar is broken.
Frank Mars begins his candy-making venture in the kitchen of his Tacoma, Washington, home.
Frank Mars and Forrest Mars, Sr., create their first big hit, the Milky Way bar.
The Snickers bar is introduced, followed by the Mars almond bar, and the 3 Musketeers bar in 1932.
Forrest Mars, Sr., creates M&M’s brand chocolate candies.
M&M’s brand chocolate candies are included in the first space shuttle mission, and every subsequent flight. They are included in NASA’s space food system and are featured on the International Space Station menu.
Mars, IBM, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture complete a two-year effort to sequence and annotate the cocoa genome. The genome was placed on public domain.
Mars opens its first chocolate factory in Saudi Arabia.
Mars Chocolate celebrates the 75th anniversary of its popular M&Ms brand.
Mars unveils “Sustainable in a Generation Plan” with a $1 billion pledge to tackle climate change and other societal threats.
Chocolate industry sales worldwide expected to hit nearly $138 billion by 2019, with research showing increasing demand for dark and premium chocolate.