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Chocolate was first discovered in Central America where cacao trees have grown wild for around 100 million years. By around 2,000 BC pre-Olmec people in what is now Mexico were picking the cacao seeds and grinding them up with vanilla or chillies to make a hot or cold spicy drink. 

Chocolate was introduced into Spain in 1527 and soon caught on through the rest of Europe, becoming a popular treat. It was also rumoured to have therapeutic benefits due to the fact that chocolate contains serotonin, phenyl ethylamine (the so-called “love chemical”) and endorphins which some people now claim reduce stress, relieve pain and can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Due to its unwavering popularity, chocolate continues to be a product in demand and, in addition to the mass produced chocolate bars, it is now possible to buy from a growing number of UK luxury brands providing unique flavours such as sea salted caramel made from scratch using artisan skills.  Some chocolatiers even run chocolate tasting and making workshops that provide a real insight into the skills behind make fresh, handmade chocolates.

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