These two pieces of a House of Representatives report in 1797 concerns an additional two cents per pound duty on cacao. Then as now taxes on cacao were an important revenue for many governments. At the same time these high duties meant chocolate was not accessible to many people. Until about 1900 in Europe, the working classes could rarely afford chocolate.
I ran across this bar the other day. Attractive packing. If you read the ingredients you see it used COCAO powder. This ingredient makes it cheaper for the manufacturer to make the bar. Sometimes the bar still has a premium price. It may also give the bar an astringent taste. I suggest you go beyond the wrapping and name and find out what the ingredients are just as a normal practice even if you think the taste is the best you have ever had.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE: and, the second chocolate company was MADRE, and my friend Nat Bletter. So here you also see drying and fermenting in different stages, and a Future flavoring flower---can you guess?
Speaking of Chocolate: on a recent trip to Honolulu to give a paper on cacao and chocolate for the regional World History Conference I stopped to visit old friends at two companies: the first is MANOA Chocolate and Tamara Armstrong.
This is Lilikoi-----also known as Passion Fruit. Shown growing at Madre Chocolate, O'ahu, Hawaii. Nat Blatter is also growing vanilla (which also originated in Mesoamerica-and must be hand pollinated).