At the beginning of the 16th century cocoa bean arrived to Spain and Spanish people kept it a secret for almost hundred years. Spanish monks were the ones to add sugar into the drink, which made it appealing to Europeans, who were not accustomed to extravagant spices such as chili. Nevertheless, Italian explorer Antonio Carletti discovered the secret of chocolate at the beginning of the 17th century and spread it throughout Europe, making chocolate a symbol of high class for the next 300 years. As the secret of chocolate was uncovered, Spanish monopoly was overthrown and chocolate roads multiplied throughout Europe. However, even then chocolate was available only to very narrow circle of people.
Chocolate was introduced to France in 1615 when Louis XIII married Anne of Austria, the daughter of Phillip II. She adored chocolate and carried it with her wherever she would go. In 1661 Louis XIV married Marie Therese who was known for having two passions: the king and chocolate. Since then, chocolate captivated European courts and aristocracy and noble ladies made a habit of gathering in their parlors drinking hot chocolate out of their porcelain sets.
Some enterprising French opened in London the first “house” where one could enjoy chocolate drink, and such houses were common in England in 1700’s just like coffee shops today. Therefore, chocolate also became available to the “lower” classes as well.