La Española, founded in Caracas in 1854, and El Indio, in 1861, were the first two chocolate factories established in the country.
The first chocolate shops or chocolate factories in the country opened their doors in the mid-XNUMXth century.
The first two of those that are registered are those established in Caracas La Española, founded by the Spanish businessman and journalist Faust Theodore of Aldrey in 1854, who ends up devoting himself exclusively to his newspaper La Opinion Nacional; and El Indio, founded by Antonio Duvall and the Swiss Fullié brothers in 1861, although a few years later, after a division of the partners, it was renamed The India, producing chocolates until 1995.
Both chocolate shops, in their beginnings, served their public in the same place where they produced their chocolate with the latest innovations learned in the old continent.
La Española or Café El Español, as it was also known, sold chocolate paste wholesale and retail that was produced in its own facilities, as well as ice cream and chocolate drinks.
While El Indio sold its cocoa-based products in its first store, from Gradillas to Sociedad, where it also offered the ladies' lounge service, where you could socialize with a cup of hot chocolate.
From the cocoa drink of the haciendas, to that of the first chocolate factories in the country
Until the mid-nineteenth century, approximately, in Venezuela chocolate was consumed as a hot drink, which was made from cocoa balls, which were produced by hand on cocoa farms.
Although the first cups of chocolate were they took almost exclusively in the cocoa farms that were established from the sixteenth century, during the colonial era.
The slaves and workers took the cocoa dissolved in water, without any species that altered its flavor, and it was consumed throughout the day. They called him cerrero and served him in totumas.
While the families of the cocoa farmers took it just like the Spanish and Italian recipes.
At first, cocoa was sold in small balls that people dissolved at home with water or milk, until the start of the chocolate industry, which began in Europe and spread to America with the migration of Europeans who set up chocolate houses in the country, were replaced by molded chocolate bars for cups, flavored with cinnamon or vanilla.
And for its elaboration, they begin to popularize sugar and milk as fundamental ingredients for its elaboration, as it was already being prepared in Europe.
At the end of the XNUMXth century, London already had a number of chocolatiers that were a kind of specialized coffee shops, and it is believed that it was in these places that the idea of putting hot chocolate to drink milk arose.
From a rough and earthy chocolate to the one consumed today
The rough and earthy texture of the chocolate paste with which the chocolate drink was made began to change in 1828 thanks to different innovations.
One of them is that of the Dutch chocolatier Conrad van Houten, who invents a screw press with which he manages to extract almost all the cocoa butter from the ground seeds, thus obtaining a less oily chocolate.
Years later, the British chocolate firm Fry and Sons discovers, in 1847, that with pure cocoa butter, extracted from cocoa beans through this screw press, it was possible to make chocolate bars, because with it a less earthy cocoa paste was obtained .
The new chocolate factories that were established in Venezuela, mostly run by Europeans with knowledge of the latest chocolate innovations, began to apply them.
The Swiss-owned chocolate factory La India, for example, implemented all the innovations of the late XNUMXth and early XNUMXth centuries in the production of its chocolate bars, such as using milk, successful invention of the Swiss confectioner Daniel Peter, as well as bringing the most modern machinery to the country to achieve a better consistency for this sweet.
Chocolate shops increase in Venezuela between the end of the XNUMXth century and the beginning of the XNUMXth
The growth of the chocolate industry in the country evidenced, between 1877 and 1929, the creation of some 43 national factories specialized in cocoa and derivatives, and the installation of some 14 foreign ones such as Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, Chocolat-Menier de Paris.
In the last decade of the XNUMXth century, the Al Indio factories of Luis Rus y Cía. in Caracas, which sold cinnamon chocolate and family cocoa; La India de Fullié in Caracas, with distributors in Ciudad Bolívar and Maracaibo, with its varieties of cinnamon chocolate;
Los Indios de Utrera y Cia., with its innovative vanilla, almond, health and cinnamon chocolates presented in bars and cocoa soluble in milk or water; La Tropical by Gregorio Pérez in Caracas;
To La Venezolana de Enríquez Olivares de Valencia who continued to manufacture delicacies of different kinds in her workshop, family chocolate, cinnamon, offered in half-pound pastes, wrapped in artistically printed paper; The Indiana des. a. Ettedgui from Puerto Cabello, with its prestigious first quality cinnamon chocolate, made for export purposes; The Sultana del Ávila by Pablo Ramella Sucs. from Caracas.
- Text made with information from the book Geohistory of Sensibility in Venezuela. Volumes 1 and 2 by Pedro Cunill Grau. Polar Business Foundation and from the book Eating in Venezuela, from the Cazavi to the Cassava Foam, by Miro Popic