The history of chocolate dates back to 1900 BC. Discovered by the pre-Olmee people of South America, it was used only in beverage form during sacred rituals. The Mayans believed it symbolized life and fertility. In 1755, chocolate debuted in the United States. It was not until John Cadbury developed an emulsification process in the mid-1800's that it was used in solid form. Solid eating chocolate was developed by Joseph Fry in 1830. Milk chocolate did not hit the market until 1875 in Switzerland.
Today, 16 of the top 20 consuming nations are in Europe, with Switzerland consuming the most chocolate - over 20 pounds per person annually. The United States is 11th, consuming 3 billion pounds - 11.64 pounds per person each year.