Chocolate originated from Mesoamerica, where it was used by the Mokaya people as long ago as 1900 B.C. However, most ancient users of chocolate enjoyed it as a bitter drink. The Spanish developed the idea of chocolate as a sweet.
The word "chocolate" itself comes from the language of the Aztec people from whom the Spanish originally learned of the food. Their word for the bitter beverage made from the cacao beans was "xocoatl." The bitterness proved difficult for the Spanish elites who could afford the exotic new food, though, so sugar, honey and spices were added to counteract the bitterness. The creation of chocolate in the familiar solid bar form happened in 1847, when Joseph Fry discovered how to make a moldable chocolate substance.