Chocolate is a tasty treat that originated in Central America. Cacao seeds are harvested from cacao trees, which grow in tropical climates. This seed is then ground into a liquid mixture, called chocolate liquor. Then, it is mixed with other ingredients to make confections.
Chocolate has been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. It was first used as a medicinal drink, and later enriched with sweeteners. Historically, chocolate was bitter. Today, it is a popular treat.
Chocolate has many health benefits, though it is also high in calories and sugar. It also has a low carbon footprint.
Originally, it was a beverage favored by Mesoamerican civilizations. During the 18th century, European invaders discovered it and started producing it. Eventually, the popularity of chocolate spread to the rest of the world.
During the industrial revolution, chocolate became more popular. In the 19th century, Great Britain lowered the import duty on chocolate to one penny per pound. As the European influx continued, the number of chocolate-producing countries increased.
Nowadays, most chocolate is produced in West Africa. Although it is a lucrative industry, many cacao farmers in West Africa live in poverty and are paid little. They often have to rely on unpaid child labor.
One of the biggest ethical concerns about chocolate is its supply chain. Some companies use commodity beans instead of cocoa beans from certified farms. Those that do, sometimes put heavy metals into their products, which can be toxic to kidneys.