The Man You Can Thank For the Chocolate Bar

Chocolate as a drink was a favorite of the Emperor of the Aztecs, and Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez brought the drink back to Spain in 1529, where it remained the favorite drink of Spanish royalty for years. However, it was a man named Joseph Fry who discovered chocolate for eating in 1847. He found a way to mix cocoa powder, sugar, and cocoa to create a paste that could be pressed into a mold. The resulting candy bar was a success. Early chocolate bars were made of bittersweet chocolate, beginning with Fry’s Chocolate Cream bar in 1866. Then, in 1875, Henry Nestle — maker of evaporated milk — and chocolate maker Daniel Peter created the more palatable milk chocolate. In 1879, Rodolphe Lindt began adding cocoa butter back to the chocolate, which produced a bar that would hold its hardened shape and melt on the tongue. Then, in 1900, Milton S. Hershey installed chocolate machinery in his Lancaster, Penn., factory and produced the first American-made milk chocolate bar. So, while we recognize the names Nestle, Lindt and Hershey as being chocolate royalty, we have Joseph Fry to thank for getting the chocolate bar rolling.