Among the chocolate brands available today, few can claim a legacy that goes back over 180 years. Van Houten has been manufacturing cocoa powder since 1828, when its founder, Coenraad Van Houten, pioneered a process to manufacture cocoa in Amsterdam, Holland. The result was a tastier and more soluble cocoa powder which spurred the growth of the hot chocolate drink industry.
Cocoa mass was treated with alkaline salts to remove the bitter taste and make cocoa solids more water-soluble; the resulting product is called “Dutch process” chocolate. Today, this process is known as “Dutching”. The final product, Dutch chocolate, has a dark color and a mild taste.
Riding on its success, Van Houten expanded rapidly and by the end of the 19th century, it had expanded into the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Germany. By then, the Van Houten name was synonymous with high quality cocoa powder.
Van Houten’s discovery, also paved the way for the subsequent manufacture of the chocolate bar. This eventually made volume production of chocolates possible and also made chocolates affordable, a fact that Chocolate lovers today are blissfully unaware of – as they can indulge in chocolates so easily whenever they like.