If it weren't for engineers, we might still be drinking a form of that cold and bitter beverage introduced in 1519 to Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes by the Aztecs. In light of that brew's nasty taste, it's perhaps not so remarkable that the Spanish succeeded in keeping the cacao-bean industry a secret for nearly 100 years. Once the secret was out, however, it didn't take long for engineers to start improving upon it. In addition to devising ways to mechanize various manual steps, engineers invented all of the machines that give today's chocolates their velvety, flavorful, melt-in-the-mouth characteristics we know and love so well.
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Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Agricultural & Biological
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Fun Fact:The U.S. chocolate-manufacturing industry, which is currently the world's largest, got its start in 1764 at Milton Lower Mills, near Dorchester, Massachusetts. It was there that physician James Baker and Irish-born chocolate maker John Hannon set up the Baker Chocolate Company to manufacture chocolate from beans imported from the West Indies.