Some 4000 years ago in the rainforests of Central America, the Maya and later also the Aztecs mixed grounded cacao beans with herbs and made a bitter tasting drink that they called 'xocolatl'. They believed that this medicinal drink gave wisdom and knowledge.
The cacao tree was called "Theobroma Cacao" by Linnaeus, Theobrom is Greek for “food of the gods' and in South America cacao was considered as such.
16th-century explorers took cacao beans to Europe and the famous Italian lover Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) used chocolate as an aphrodisiac.
The chocolate casting process was invented in the 19th century and Dutchman Coenraad Johannes van Houten (1801-1887) perfected the art of pressing cacao beans, separating cacao butter from the solid components.