Free Shipping on Orders over $49 (Retail Only)

Shop Now


Olmac Head - Ancient Candy History
Olmac Head

THANK YOU MEXICO! Without Mexico we would be chocolate-less. Of course, early on Mexico was home to the Olmecs, known for their large head sculptures, the Mayans, and the Aztecs.

Cortez meeting Montezuma - Candy History
Cortez meeting Montezuma

In 1521 explorer Hernán Cortés landed in Mesoamerica and saw a mesmerizing sight: the great Aztec leader Montezuma, bedecked in jewels and feathers, and attended to by 200 wives. And in his regal hand he cupped a golden chalice filled with the cacao drink. This inspired Cortés, largely to overthrow him, which he did with a devastating, bloody blow.


As for the cacao – the bean which is the essence of chocolate today? The Spanish carried that back to Spain and kept their delicious secret hidden for over a hundred years. Gradually, word spread, thanks to the intermarriage of royalty, each secretly sharing their treasured cacao with their betrothed.

Turn of Century Baker's Ad - Candy History
Turn of Century Baker’s Ad
1873 Baker's Ad - Candy History
1873 Baker’s Ad

Eventually, the Europeans brought their taste for cacao to North America where the likes of Thomas Adams promoted it as a superior drink to the British controlled tea. The Revolutionary War soldiers ate it, a Massachusetts company (now known as Baker’s Chocolate) processed it, and the well-to-do enjoyed it as a hot morning drink, frequently adding the flavors once enjoyed by Montezuma.

Chocolate Talk Bits and Nips

Chocolate Talk Bits and Nips

I attended a talk on the history of chocolate at the historic Dumbarton House in D.C. The speaker, Joyce White, managed to cover a broad swath of history in 90 minutes with plenty of interesting facts. Here is a handful with a few of my own thrown in.

  • We all know that the ancient Aztecs revered the cacao bean: they even considered it money…so drinking chocolate was much like drinking gold. But the crème de la crème of the chocolate drink was the froth. The frothier the better.

    Whole cacao bean with soft shell
  • Chocolate was considered hot and moist in a purely sensual way. In fact, the Catholic Church of the 1600s didn’t think it was suitable for women. Flash forward about 300 years and suitors were giving women boxes of chocolate to lure them to bed. Who knew some of the fillings, such as nutmeg and cinnamon really were aphrodisiacs.
  • Chocolate liquor is not an after-dinner drink but the result of the cacao being heated. In other words, chocolate.
  • Baker’s Chocolate, which opened in the 1700s in Dorchester, Massachusetts just outside Boston, was among the first American chocolate makers. The company was not named for the people who used it but the founder Walter Baker. The logo of the girl serving chocolate drink was adopted in 1883 and based on a painting of 1740.
  • The Quakers of England, including the Cadbury and Frye family, were instrumental in creating modern-day chocolate, starting in the 18th A great read is Deborah Cadbury’s book on the subject: “The Chocolate Wars.”
  • German Chocolate was actually Sam German’s chocolate. He developed a kind of dark chocolate for Baker’s Chocolate Company in 1852. In 1957, Mrs. George Clay’s chocolate cake recipe, with German chocolate, was featured in the Dallas Morning Star. The chocolate was a hit but the possessive wasn’t. It was soon dropped and the American-made chocolate took on a new national identity.
  • Today, most chocolate is made in Africa, not its native Mesoamerica although plenty can be found there, too.

Baker’s Ads through the Ages

Baker’s Chocolate in the Industrial Revolution
Good for the elderly? Really?
Baker’s Girl Based on 1700’s painting