Can you imagine life without chocolate? If you can’t, you wouldn’t have had a great time before the 16th century, when it only existed as a bitter drink in Mesoamerica. The video above by Ted Education traces the fascinating (and cruel) history of the chocolate bars that surround us.
It was only in 1828, with the invention of the cocoa press that it came to be enjoyed in the solid form we know today. By the 20th century, it was no longer limited to the elite but began to be enjoyed as a treat. But not everything about the tasty treat leaves a sweet after taste.
In the 17th and 18th century, slave labour was imported to islands in the Carribean and the coast of West Africa. Even late into the 21st century, nearly 2.1 million West African children are engaged in the often dangerous and physically exhausting work of harvesting cocoa.