Cocoa in Holland
Cocoa in Holland

Flavors of Holland

All About Chocolate > Cocoa in Holland - the world's leading exporter of the finished product

The great master chocolatiers at the beginning of the 20th century

  • Van Houten 1828
  • Droste

Sacks of cocoa arriving in the port of Amsterdam, a major European hub from the 17th century onwards, did not simply pass through in transit. The first beans to arrive in the Netherlands were contraband. At war with Catholic Spain, the Dutch saw in the cocoa pods a means of undermining Charles V's monopoly and so introduced tons of beans into France and elsewhere in Europe.

In 1828, Conrad Van Houten, a Dutch chemist and pharmacist by profession, invented the cocoa press and later developed a soluble powdered form of cocoa. With his colleague Dresde, he invented a press to remove the fat from the beans and added potassium carbonate (potash) to lighten the mixture.

In the 1930s Nuts invented a bar with hazelnuts and malt.

Here chocolate is listed on the stock exchange and influences the global market of French and Dutch (particularly Rotterdam) cocoa pressers who now make cocoa butter by pressing the beans.

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