The 15th century, somewhere deep in the jungles of Central America. Seated on a mountain, with a view of his Kingdom, we find Montezuma — Monty for his friends — King of the Aztecs and unofficial Emperor of chocolate. Monty sips some fifty cups a day, and when the need is high, he even bathes in the medicinal benefits of what he and his friends called Xocolatl. At that time no bars with nuts, no: chocolate was a precious good brewed from Holy beans. Hot chocolate avant la lettre, if you want.
Meet conquistador Cortes, a man with grand plans of conquest. He was that impressed by the nectar that he decided to take the colorful beans home, across the ocean to Spain. But his countrymen, sweet tooths as they were, found nothing in the bitter broth. They added vanilla and sugar, left the strong herbs for what they were, et voilà: du chocolat!
In no time, the entire Mexican Coast region was filled with cocoa plantations and the Spanish could hardly keep up with the incoming gold pieces earned by this profitable business. Chocolate was the new favorite delicacy of the Spanish aristocracy and soon found its way to others of blue blood, spread across the continent.
About half a dozen centuries later the search for the best chocolate has not yet come to an end. Or has it? In his laboratory located in the heart of Ghent, doctor Van Laethem has been experimenting with gourmet chocolate for years. The apex for a doctor with chocolatier-aspirations? The creation of a chocolate bar where you sink your teeth into without having to feel guilty. Filled with love and the best of cocoa, minus the problems that lactose intolerance or gluten allergies involve. Divine!