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Who invented chocolate?


Can you guess what an astronaut's favourite chocolate is? A Mars bar, of course!

It's no secret that there is a lot of love for chocolate all across the world. The story of chocolate started thousands of years ago in Central America, where the cacao tree grows. In fact, the tree's scientific name means "food of the gods." The seed of this tree, called the cocoa bean, is what is used to make chocolate. The first form of chocolate was very different from the bars and baked goodies we can find in today's stores. The Maya and Aztec peoples used crushed cocoa beans to make a hot, bitter drink named xocoatl.  

Legend has it that one day, way back in 1519, the Aztec emperor gave it to a European to taste and he took it back to Spain. (The European was actually a conquistador, the Spanish word for conqueror. That means he was an invader and no friend to the Aztec.) In Europe, things like sugar, vanilla and cinnamon were added to chocolate to make it sweeter. This quickly made it a favourite with the Spanish kings and queens. In the 1600s, the drink's popularity grew among wealthy people in other countries like France and England.

It took a couple more centuries to discover how to create a smooth, solid type of chocolate for eating. In 1847, the British chocolatier Joseph Fry's company created the first chocolate bar. The Candy Hall of Fame credits Daniel Peter of Switzerland as the inventor of milk chocolate.

What's your favourite chocolate bar? To start a scrumptious reading journey, check out the extra sweet books below!  

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