Native to the tropical forests of Central America and consumed since prehistoric times, the cocoa tree, considered the tree of the gods (the Latin name of the botanical genus of the cocoa tree, "Theobroma", means "Food of the Gods") was cultivated by the Mayans and the Aztecs. These people consumed cocoa beans in the form of a nourishing drink called "chocolatl" (bitter water). It was made using roasted cocoa beans crushed on hot stones. The resulting paste was heated and mixed with water and added vanilla, pepper, cinnamon, chili and even corn flour.
Christopher Columbus does not understand the value of cocoa beans; it was not until Hernan Cortes, who drank it at the court of the Aztec emperor Moctezuma, that they crossed the Atlantic. The King of Spain loves it, he drinks his thick, almost syrupy chocolate. When she married Louis XIII, the Infanta of Spain required to bring the delicious drink with her. Louis XIV will have it adopted by the whole court. It was also in the 17th century that sweet chocolate appeared in Catalonia, before establishing itself throughout the world. In the 19th century, plantations developed throughout the world, particularly in Africa and Asia. Industrialization enabled democratization, with the invention of the tablet in England (1847), milk chocolate in Switzerland (1875) and chocolate bars in the United States in the 1920s.