It is often argued that more lore attaches to chocolate than to any other human consumable except wine. As the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa wrote: “Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolate.” In the February issue of Scientific American, Harold Schmitz and Howard-Yana Shapiro of Mars, Incorporated, report on the future of chocolate, given the threats to the fragile cacao tree whose seeds provide the cocoa ingredients from which all chocolate products are made. Below is a timeline documenting some of the many uses of chocolate through the ages.

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Read more about the research to save chocolate in the February issue of Scientific American