Friday, January 10, 2014

Bitter Sweet Chocolate Day -Postcard Friendship Friday #202

It is a truth most everyone loves chocolate.  Chocolate has a long and colorful history.  It started out as a bitter beverage.  The word "chocolate" can be traced back to the Aztec word "xocoatl," which referred to a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans. The Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means "food of the gods."  The Mayans and Aztecs believed the cacao bean had magical, divine properties.

Chocolate with sugar didn't appear until Europeans came along. Legend has it that the Aztec king Montezuma welcomed the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes with a banquet which included a cup of chocolate.  Cortez did not appreciate the drink, calling it "a bitter drink for pigs."  However, it was discovered chocolate mixed with honey or cane sugar was delicious.

By the 17th century, chocolate was a fashionable drink throughout Europe, believed to have nutritious, medicinal and even aphrodisiac properties (it's rumored that Casanova was especially fond of the stuff).  But it remained largely a privilege of the rich until the invention of the steam engine made mass production possible in the late 1700s.

The creation of the first modern chocolate bar is credited to Joseph Fry, in 1847.   By 1868, a little company called Cadbury was marketing boxes of chocolate candies in England. Milk chocolate hit the market a few years later, pioneered by, of course, Nestle.

In America, chocolate was so valued during the Revolutionary War that it was included in soldiers' rations and used in lieu of wages.   While most of us would not take chocolate as payment for a job well done, true chocolate loves might just consider it!

May you have the joy of sampling chocolate this weekend and Happy Postcard Friendship Friday!

LINKING UP:  You can put your link in any time between now and next Thursday.  Postcard Friendship Friday is open for the entire week! 

BADGE:  When you submit a postcard, be sure to put a link back to this page.  You can copy and paste the PFF badge, which has the link embedded.  Thank you!

*  THEMESYou don't have to stick to the theme I choose each Friday. Just put up the pieces you love and tell us why you like them.

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Snap said...

Wonderful card. I used to give a tour at the museum that included a history of chocolate using artifacts from Mexico. Fun stuff! Happy PFF!

Postcardy said...

I'm glad your post was visible early today.

I decided to post something chocolately. By coincidence, this postcard was sent to Beth from Daddy.

BTW, I have a refrigerator magnet with the same image as your postcard.

LiT Web Studio said...

Just a quick hello Beth! Delicious card...Chocolate is quite magical in the sense of well-being it can induce!

Irene said...

Love that it's Chocolate Day, but as my son says, it's it everyday? Love your card. Enjoy your bite of chocolate.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

There is something magical about chocolate! I have been testing those magic powers all over Christmas.

Maria said...

A wonderful feature for PFF, Beth!! I know I've read this history of chocolates before but it's great being able to read it again.

I'm trying to stay away from chocolates because I'm starting to be 'horizontally challenged' but with your wish, I might really get myself a bar of good chocolate this weekend!

Happy PFF and happy weekend! *hugs*

Grace Bailhache said...

Hello Beth,

I love this coincidence, I feel definitely home coming here, I'm a chocolate girl in every sense ;)

I should stop drinking hot chocolate because they're not sugar free, but it's winter and I can't drink too much tea according to the experts.

Love your card and I'm really really happy to wish you again a HAPPY HAPPY 2014 for you, your sister,and the whole family.