TED-Ed | The history of chocolate

If you can’t imagine life without chocolate, you’re lucky you weren’t born before the 16th century. Until then, chocolate only existed as a bitter, foamy drink in Mesoamerica. So how did we get from a bitter beverage to the chocolate bars of today? Deanna Pucciarelli traces the fascinating and often cruel history of chocolate.

But who decides which chocolate is good and which is bad and most, importantly why a specific chocolate costs more. Is it same thing with who decides if something is or isn’t a piece of art?

Watch the video and find out:

Improve your speaking

Here are some Part 1 questions (and sample answers) from an IELTS Speaking exam back in 2017.

  1. Do you like chocolate?

    Yes, I do. I mean, who doesn’t? I like both blocks of plain chocolate as well as chocolate bars, such as Mars or Snickers bars.

  2. Do you often eat chocolate?

    Unfortunately, yes, I do. I eat it everyday even though I know I shouldn’t.

  3. Is chocolate popular in your contry?

    Yes, it’s extremely popular. Almost everyone eats chocolate. It’s probably the most common dessert for both children and adults, and certainly much more popular than fruit. There are actually two chocolate factories: one in Buchrest, the capital city, and another one in Brasov.

  4. Did you eat chocolate when you were a child?

    Yes, I did but I didn’t eat it as often as I do now as an adult. My parents were careful to ration the chocolate to twice a week only.

  5. Are there any occasions when people give chocolate as a present?

    Yes, there are a number of times in the year when that might happen. Some people give chocolates to each other on Valentine’s Day, while others give it at birthdays. Easter is also a common date to give a chocolate egg as a gift.

  6. Do you think it is healthy to eat chocolate?

    Not really. I’ve heard that if the chocolate is plain or dark, without added milk or sugar, it is fine to eat a small amount each day and it can even help you focus. But it’s certainly unhealthy to eat large quantities or the types of chocolate that most people eat today.

Improve your listening

The topic of chocolate is also present in my IELTS Express Listening course. You’ll hear a recording about how chocolate is made and you have to label a diagram and complete some sentences.

Dig deeper

You can watch these movies (you can watch Johnny Depp from 2 different angles) about chocolate, make sure you turn the subtitles ON to practise your spelling, or go hard core and watch them with no subtitles to improve your listening skills.

Charlie and Chocolate Factory – Johnny Depp plays quirky candy king Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s take on the classic children’s book.

Chocolat – This critical favorite earned five Oscar nominations, including acting nods for Juliette Binoche and Judi Dench.


Don’t forget to treat yourself!


Your IELTS bestie,



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