For the pre-Columbian people, chocolate had a double function; it was seen both as food and medicine. For the Aztec it was a royal beverage considered as an aphrodisiac.
Since its discovery by the Europeans, apart for the excitement of the gourmets, chocolate provides a subject of study for doctors and physicians. In 1615, with the wedding of Louis the XIIIth and Anne of Austria, infante of Spain, the cocoa bean was introduced in France.
At first chocolate was made entirely by hand, but during the first half of the 19th century technological progress allowed for several tons of cocoa to be grilled at once. Chocolate factories were created in Switzerland (cailler, suchard, kohler…), France (pelletier, menier, barry…) and England (cadburry…).
The second half of the XIXth century was the time of solid chocolate. The 20th century was marked by the entry of chocolate into advertising with enamel signs , robots , boxes, children’s books, television…A museum, located at roquebrune sur argens in var, “la maison du cacao et du chocolat”, tell this story.
Sao tomé and principé’s consulat, located at Marseille, explains the process of chocolate crafting, its origin and the economical importance that chocolate could have in some countries.
Provence celebrates the chocolate through these two institutions but even more so through its renowned chocolatiers, its celebrations and fairs and now throw the European Chocolate Way.
To learn more about the Chocolate Way and view interviews with local organizers please click here.