Love it or hate it, the over-commercialized Valentine’s Day is around the corner. And if one thing is going to be visible everywhere, it would have to be chocolates. Did you know that the first modern chocolate bar was made by Joseph Fry? In 1847, Fry tried mixing melted cacao butter back into Dutch cocoa and then moulding the resultant chocolate paste.

Within the next two decades, a small company called Cadbury was marketing boxes of chocolate candies in England. History is full of chocolate facts as well. In America, chocolate was so valued during the Revolutionary War that it was included in soldiers’ rations and used in lieu of wages. If you look further back, ancient Mayans and Aztecs believed the cacao bean had magical, or even divine, properties, suitable for use in the most sacred rituals of birth, marriage and death. According to Chloe Doutre-Roussel’s book, The Chocolate Connoisseur, Aztec sacrifice victims who felt too stressed to join in ritual dancing before their death were often given a gourd of chocolate to cheer them up.

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