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The Economics of Chocolate$
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Mara P. Squicciarini and Johan Swinnen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198726449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198726449.001.0001

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Chocolate Consumption from the Sixteenth Century to the Great Chocolate Boom

Chocolate Consumption from the Sixteenth Century to the Great Chocolate Boom

(p.43) 3 Chocolate Consumption from the Sixteenth Century to the Great Chocolate Boom
The Economics of Chocolate

William G. Clarence–Smith

Oxford University Press

The sixteenth-century Spanish conquest of Central America diffused chocolate around the world, as a hot, sweet, and mildly addictive stimulating beverage. Markets outside Europe, often neglected by historians, receive special attention in this chapter. Chocolate suffered from increasing competition from tea, coffee, and similar substances, as it became associated with Roman Catholic culture. However, chocolate spread more widely again in the Industrial Revolution. Incomes rose, punitive taxes fell, the industrial manufacture of eating chocolate lowered prices, and temperance campaigners approved of chocolate’s nutritious properties. By 1914, eating and drinking chocolate were firmly established as small luxuries of the industrial working class, while drinking chocolate retained a mass peasant clientele in parts of the world.

Keywords:   addictive, Catholic, coffee, drinking chocolate, eating chocolate, Industrial Revolution, incomes, taxes, tea, temperance

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