Anne of Austria
France was the second country in Europe where chocolate was introduced. After chocolate was widely accepted in Spain in the sixteenth century, it was transferred to France bymerchants who anticipated chocolate to be a big business in the near future. At the beginning, chocolate was greeted with suspicion and skepticism in France, and it was always referred to as a “barbarousproduct and noxious drug”. Thus, The French court encouraged the Paris Faculty of Medicine to investigate this sweet substance and the faculty issued its approval, this made the wife of Louis XIII, Anneof Austria, to declare chocolate as the drink of the French court. Later in 1660, chocolate was introduced to ordinary people when Maria Theresa of Austria, the wife of Louis XIV, kindly shared herlove of chocolate with the people of France.
Today, some hi-grade chocolate products which are sold around the world are produced by French chocolate manufacturers such as Valrhona, Chocolat Bonnat,Jean-Paul Hevin, La Maison du Chocolat, Michel Cluizel, Chocolat Poulain and much more.
Anne of Austria, age 14 when she married Louis XIII, brought a coterie of ladie-in-waiting andwas attached to her Spanish ways, including, it is said, the drinking of chocolate as a beverage. Her taste for chocolate supposedly was passed to the King and his court, from where it spread to therest of France. IN reality, however, the marriage had been arranged to end a long period of Franco-Spanish enmity and there was considerable mistrust in high French court circles of Anne and herSpanish retinue, who were sent back to Spain in 1618. Louis Batiffol, whose biography of the young king was based heavily on accounts of the day, notes that Louis, also 14 at the time of the wedding, wasnot attracted to Anne and that they lived in separate apartments in the Louvre, then the royal palace. They saw one another only briefly, at set intervals during the day, with fixed rituals prescribed...
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