Attention in Washington remains focused on the government shutdown. But a far more important issue confronts America: rising chocolate prices. When will the government address this terrifying global crisis?
Cocoa trees have been cultivated for thousands of years. The early Mesoamericans, including the Aztecs and Mayans, turned the beans into cocoa solids, liquid, and butter. These peoples offered cocoa beans as gifts for the gods and using cocoa drinks in sacred ceremonies.
The Europeans became acquainted with chocolate after the Spanish conquistadors came and conquered. The Europeans sent cocoa beans and added sugar and milk.
Hard chocolate finally arrived in the 18th century, apparently first in Italy. But it was the Industrial Revolution that delivered chocolate to the rest of us. A German company created the first chocolate bar in 1839. Is there another invention that benefited mankind so greatly?
But perhaps the most important innovation was yet to come. In 1867 a Swiss chocolatier, recently removed from candle-making added milk. And then America’s Milton Hershey created a mass market with cheap chocolate bars.
For all of the genius of Thomas Jefferson, he failed to capture this aspect of humanity. What is “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” without chocolate?
Truly access to chocolate is a vital national, even global interest.