The Sun King and chocolate

Anne of Austria, the Sun King’s mother, secretly introduced to the court a drink said to be “exotic” which came from the colonies. It was under the reign of her son Louis XIV, the Sun King, that the chocolate drink spread in Versailles.

His wife Marie-Thérèse of Austria adores this nectar which remains a product of luxury and prestige, a very rare commodity, unknown in the countryside and reserved only for the court and nobility.

Buffets are dedicated to the consumption of this beverage, it is prepared by mixing together cocoa paste, sugar cane and spices, then chocolate shavings are melted into milk that has been lathered with a small whisk.

The trend is so appreciated that chocolate becomes essential, the Sun King orders the cultivation of cocoa beans in the French West Indies, and he is the only one who can grant the privilege of being able to manufacture, sell and produce it throughout the kingdom of France.

The whole court speaks only about this beverage, at the time it was said to have aphrodisiac and medical qualities. Most doctors and botanists have acknowledged its digestive qualities and revitalizing virtues.

Since the Sun King’s reign, all of the great figures of France have been conquered by chocolate: Philippe d’Orléans, Louis XV, Marie-Antoinette… For all of them, chocolate is the royal nectar.

Marie-Thérèse of Austria

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