The History of Chocolate

The History of ChocolateDelicious, delectable, soothing and, yes, American. Chocolate was a New World discovery, one of the most sought-after treasures brought back to Europe from the brave new land across the Atlantic.

Cacao, from which chocolate is created, is said to have originated in the Amazon at least 4,000 years ago. The Aztecs were so enthralled with the bean that they attributed its creation to their god Quetzalcoatl who, as the legend goes descended from heaven on a beam of a morning star carrying a cacao tree stolen from paradise. In fact, the Aztecs valued the cacao bean so much that they used it as currency.

The Aztecs also used the cacao beans to prepare a thick, cold, unsweetened drink called chocolatl - a liquid so prestigious that it was served in golden goblets that were thrown away after one use. Christopher Columbus, in 1502, was the first European to run across the beans on his fourth voyage to the New World.

You might also want to check out The Dark Side of Chocolate.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 44 minutes)

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Ratings: 5.56/10 from 16 users.

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32 Comments / User Reviews

  1. morsie2

    So hard to watch.....so wanting some chocolate NOW!!

  2. Friso Woudstra

    silly American way of making things exciting, some nice information though

  3. firefly88

    makes my mouth water just by watching this doc...

  4. Mini MB

    Can't be down to chemicals. I HATE chocolate, like actually hate. Anything chocolate flavour even makes me want to vomit. The smell alone makes me gag.

  5. Guest

    The best part of a cocoa pod is the mucilaginous pulp that surrounds the beans, it taste like the best icecream, the boabab pods have a similar flesh. In Africa where i ate the stuff, the beans are considered too valuable to export the pods commercially. Most Africans have never tasted a good quality chocolat bar even though they are the biggest producers.
    az

  6. Guest

    I was the one to suggest this film to Vlatko, but i agree with you, there is a lot behind chocolat that we don't think about when it melts in the mouth.
    Chocolat, diamonds, rubber all exported from Africa for what profit? for the importers.
    az

  7. Mario Isita

    very irritating documentary...the history of chocolate seems completely an american affaire....in Europe we used it when they were still in the caverns.....

  8. blahblahbob

    the episodes of american eats remind me of an 80 year old poli sci teacher i once had, cheesy as hell, not completely accurate, and somehow still very charming. i feel guilty saying it, but every time one of these eps come on i end up watching the whole thing.

  9. blahblahbob

    anti-american idiocy

  10. blahblahbob

    these colors don't run.. hahahahaha

  11. blahblahbob

    maybe your body rejects the chemicals, there is always room for deviation, but it def. makes you the anomaly.

  12. blahblahbob

    i have never seen someone talk shi# and compliment so deftly in one stroke... well played sir. but these colors still dont run! hahahahahahaha

  13. blahblahbob

    there is a link to an amazing john pilger doc called coke v. pepsi at the end of this doc, anyone who makes it should check it out.

  14. Debra McManus

    This is basically an advertisement for Hershey's.

  15. Epicurus

    that could be a taste aversion due to something in your past. if you had eaten chocolate and become sick for some reason shortly after your mind might attribute it to that sickness. humans are very prone to taste aversions.

  16. Gustavo Sosa

    Uhmm when you mean "American" you mean "the whole continent" because since I know... "cacao" is from LatinAmerica.... silly Europe vs US.

  17. adilrye

    That is so weird...

  18. adilrye

    I love these sugary, well produced History channel docs...it can make the mundane extremely entertaining. Very good doc. Also, I bet anyone to watch this doc and not crave chocolate. In the first 5 minutes...I went to the kitchen and got myself a Toblerone :D

    And by the way, my favourite chocolate growing up and till this day, is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Love them.

  19. adilrye

    Really? Hmm...that's interesting, considering COCOA comes from the New World. It wouldn't be possible to have chocolate before the 16th century, buddy. Nice try. In fact most "European" staple foods aren't really from Europe, like potatoes, tomatoes, coffee...

  20. Matthew Standley

    Not what I would really refer to as a "documentary".
    Really rather "History Channel".
    Over dramatic voices by the narrator and not too much by way of interesting facts.

  21. Remco Gerritsen

    For me. If someone would end the production of Chocolate, WW3 may start. Without, my life would be so totally useless. Speaks an addict yes xD

  22. Remco Gerritsen

    So, saw the docu. But 2 things notice me: To much promotion for 1 compagny and second, it's like Europe barely exists for them. Then it's not as good as NGC of Discovery docu's. But ok, it's watchable, mainly because it is about chocolate:D

  23. Remco Gerritsen

    The best chocolate is M&M Crispy:) (The blue bag:D)

  24. Dan Flynn

    Can't stand the narrator's bellicose voice. Just what is the History Channel's notion of the least common denominator? The subject matter is already interesting; leave out the stupid gimmicks and stop insulting the viewers.

  25. XenoLair

    Just wanted to say that. Chocolate has a high price, i'd rather see it not exist but im afraid that wouldnt change anything.

  26. Nick Penney

    Just watched this with my sisters lol. they never watch docs with

  27. Tuyet Hoang

    lol me too :D

  28. Myrtu

    I wish there was more on the Latin American origins and history, and less about the American companies and their evolution. Based on that intro blurb, I thought it was going to be about chocolate's origins in Mesoamerica, but I only got 5 minutes of that.

    Still an interesting documentary, I liked watching it for the most part, but that narrator was extremely annoying. Man, just calm down and stop shouting.

  29. Blueyonder

    A history of chocolate? No, an advertisement for Hersheys. Is chocolate only made in USA? Any, indeed, most Americans that travel will tell you Hershey's is too sweet and tastes little of chocolate. Swiss, Belgium and UK is best. But this should not be about best but about history of chocolate, not the history of American enterprise.

  30. Nathan Fellows

    It's not about your pretentiousness either. Different recipes result in different end products. Doubtless the South Americans who were the original consumers of chocolate would complain about the sweetness of the chocolate that you prefer.

  31. Blueyonder

    Nathan how to arrive at the conclusion of pretentiousness? I have experience of working and living in 39 countries. If one thinks of chocolate, the last country that would normally spring to mind is the USA. The Swiss, French end Belgians have taken a product, not native of their country and vastly improved, if not enhanced it. What we get, consistently and persistently from the USA is massive saturated advertising and marketing. That may fool the insular, not so well-travelled Americans but the rest if us in the real world are able to form our own opinions without interference or pressure. Try to be impartial. it was all about USA chocolate. Do yourself a favour, do some research on the subject, you will find very little about the USA contribution other than what you do best, selling and talking.

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