Who invented milk chocolate? History and origins

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Chocolate Facts

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Milk chocolate is a favorite treat for many. It’s so delicious that it is the most consumed type of chocolate in the world today. But did you know that it hasn’t always existed as we know it?

Let’s go back in time for a bit. The Mayans and Aztecs first consumed chocolate as a liquid beverage with water and spices. Then the Europeans began to drink it with sugar. And finally, it was transformed into solid form, with few added ingredients.

So who invented milk chocolate?

There are several theories as to who created the first milk chocolate. One theory is that an Irish doctor named Sir Hans Sloane, after visiting Jamaica in the 17th century, noticed that the natives of the island frequently consumed cocoa mixed with water.

Sir Sloane seemed not to like this mixture too much, so during his stay, he decided to substitute milk for water. The result was a new, delicious taste. On his return to Europe, he decided to patent it and began to market it in pharmacies as a restorative tonic.

This was MILK and CHOCOLATE’s first date. But this was in liquid form, so what about the chocolate bars we eat today? Well, solid milk chocolate was invented in the 19th century, when Daniel Peter, a pharmacist who invented condensed milk, joined forces with Henri Nestlé, a chocolatier, to produce a new kind of chocolate.

The challenge with creating milk chocolate was that the addition of liquid milk to a chocolate base would ruin the chocolate by causing it to seize or by preventing it from hardening. Chocolate makers knew that water (milk) and fat (chocolate) do not mix with each other, and milk didn’t last very long without turning sour or going rancid. The necessary advance was possible with the discovery of milk flour, a compound based on cereal flour and powdered milk that could be used to make solid milk chocolate products thanks to the dehydration of the liquid milk. The process was kept secret from other chocolate makers, such as Milton Hershey, who spent years trying to develop a milk chocolate recipe of his own.

The creation of milk chocolate caused a great revolution in the consumption of chocolate throughout Europe. This new type of “milk chocolate” was lighter, sweeter, and had a softer texture than the traditional dark chocolate. It definitely changed the way people consumed chocolate!

This new product increased the popularity of chocolate to such an extent that it triggered the creation of more and more chocolate companies around the world.
Now you can tell your friends who invented milk chocolate, as you enjoy your tasty MILK CHOCOLATE bar!

If you’re interested in knowing more about the origins of chocolate, we have an article on our blog that tells you where this sweet treat came from and how it has transformed over the centuries. Make sure to check it out!

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