FAQ

Quotes/thoughts from the time when Europeans first came across cocoa/chocolate

Benzoni said in 1575 "chocolate seemed more a drink for pigs", but was the most expensive merchandise according to the Indians.

In 1624 Johan Franciscus Rauch of Vienna condemned chocolate as an inflamer of passions and urged monks not to drink it.

Samuel Pepys wrote in 1660 of Charles II returning to England from exile with a quantity of chocolate.

In 1648 Thomas Gage tried to intervene with the Bishop of Chiapas over the congregation drinking chocolate during services. The Bishop was unmoved, preferring the honour of God to his own life, and the congregation went to another church where the friars were not bothered by cocoa drinking. The friars received the stipend that formerly went to the Bishop, and the Bishop threatened excommunication. Poisoned chocolate was sent to the Bishop and Gage fled Chiapas.

In 1662 Dr Bachot described chocolate as "so noble a confection, more than nectar & ambrosia, the true food of the gods".

In 1662 Henry Stubbe inveighed against Presbyterians who condemn chocolate as it is no more venereal than your constant diet.

In 1673 an English Member of Parliament requested the prohibition of Spanish chocolate, brandy, rum, tea and coffee as sales of home grown beer and ale were suffering. The request was refused but it sowed the seeds for the taxation of cocoa in the 18th century.

In 1706 Dr Daniel Duncan's book, entitled Wholesome advice against the abuse of hot liquors, particularly coffee, chocolate, tea, brandy and strong waters, stated that Satan makes us believe that .... Chocolate will do us no hurt... weakens the spirit, causes disorders of breath... & rare for women of Spain, Portugal and Italy to have more than two children.

In 1724 Dr Richard Brookes claimed that chocolate prolonged life and cured ringworm and ulcers. He also suggested cocoa butter for skin treatment, piles and gout.

In 1796 Lavedan described chocolate as "divine, celestial drink... panacea & universal medicine".

In 1799 the future US president John Adams wrote from Spain "chocolate superior to any other".

References:
True history of chocolate, Coe, S.D. & Coe, M.D. Thames and Hudson, 1996
Chocolate production and use, Cook, L.R. & Meursing, E.H. Harcourt Brace Johanovich, 1982
True survey of West Indies Gage, T., 1648
History of sweet and chocolate manufacture, Lees, R. Specialised Publications Ltd, 1988
Chocolate: an illustrated history, Morton, M. & Morton, F. Crown Publishers, 1986
True history of conquest of new Spain, Bernal Diaz del Castillo, 1582

ICCO Secretariat

International Cocoa Organization
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ICCO Agreements

The ICCO International Cocoa Agreement is available to download in Acrobat PDF format.

Go to the ICCO Agreements page

ICCO Membership Procedure

The procedures for becoming a member of the International Cocoa Organization are provided in Articles 52 to 57 of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010.

How to Become an ICCO Member - International Cocoa Agreement 2010