• Valentines Day: A Brief History of Chocolate

    by  • February 10, 2010 • Community Sherpa, Freelance Writing Samples, Fun

    heartWith just days before Valentine’s Day, it’s a perfect time to review the absolutely true and just slightly abridged history of chocolate.*

    As we all know, the Earth was formed when the sun melted a giant space-going coco bean, which then coalesced chocolatecomet into our planet.  For the first billion years or so, light breezes gently stirred seas of bitter, dark chocolate, which turned to white chocolate at the north and south poles.

    Everything changed with the cataclysmic collision between the chocolate planet and a huge milk comet.  That was followed by a cloud of sugar crystals, and the rest is history.  Dark chocolate mountains rose out of the milk chocolate seas.  Giant glaciers of white chocolate carved out valleys and cleared space for shopping malls. 

    Sadly, this is not a history you’ll find in a history book.  You can’t read it in a mass market paperback.  You can’t even find it in some remote, dark corner of the Internet.

    Pretty much everyone who knows anything doesn’t buy my version of the history of chocolate.  “Chocademics” will tell you that chocolate is a product of seed of cacao tree.  The first use of cacao is thought to have been nine centuries ago in Mexico, Central and South America. 

    The cacao bean is fermented to develop its flavor, then dried, cleaned and roasted before the shell is discarded.  What remains is ground and liquefied called chocolate liqour, which can further be processed into cocoa cutter and cocoa solids.

    Personally, I don’t hold to such nonsense.  I know scientists don’t want you to believe in planets made of chocolate, or even comets made of milk.  But I think they’re missing the point:  Chocolate is heavenly!


    Michael has been writing professionally for print, television and the internet for thirty years. As a Senior Producer at CNN International, he examined the future of technology with dozens of brilliant scientists, philosophers and entrepreneurs on the acclaimed series Future Summit. Before that, in the CNN International newsroom, he helped lead the production of award winning coverage of news like the 9/11 attacks, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the devastating 2004 tsunami in Asia. As a director, he has created a dozen short films in the last seven years. He lives with his wife, dog, four cats and two horses in the suburbs of Atlanta.