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Cocoa/chocolate is thought to be an aphrodisiac.

Warm-up with a hot cup of chocolate on National Cocoa Day. December 13th ushers in a celebration worthy of the winter holidays.

  • Hot chocolate is also known as drinking chocolate.
  • We make hot cocoa from cocoa powder. Through the fermentation, drying, roasting, and grinding process of cocoa beans, we produce a paste called chocolate liquor. Through another method, they separate cocoa butter, leaving cocoa powder. We use this cocoa powder to make hot cocoa. It has very little fat and calories.
  • The Mayans are credited with creating the first chocolate beverage around 2000 years ago.
  • Culturally, cocoa became an essential part of the Aztec civilization by 1400 AD.
  • Until the 19th century, drinkers used hot chocolate medicinally to treat ailments such as stomach diseases.
  • Cocoa contains significant amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. They have also shown that the cocoa bean helps with digestion. The flavonoids found in cocoa also have a positive effect on arterial health.
  • To make the chocolate drink, which was served cold, the Maya ground cocoa seeds into a paste and mixed it with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other ingredients.
  • Americans have come to use the terms “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa” interchangeably, obscuring the considerable difference between the two.
  • “Hot cocoa” is made from powder made by extracting most of the rich cocoa butter from the ground cacao beans.
  • “Hot chocolate,” on the other hand, is made directly from bar chocolate, which already contains cocoa, sugar, and cocoa butter.
  • Thus the major difference between the two is the cocoa butter, which makes hot cocoa significantly lower in fat than hot chocolate, while still preserving all the intrinsic health-giving properties of chocolate.
  • From the 16th to 19th centuries, hot chocolate was valued as a medicine as well as a drink.
  • The explorer Francisco Hernández wrote that chocolate beverages helped treat fever and liver disease.
  • Another explorer, Santiago de Valverde Turices, believed that large amounts of hot chocolate were helpful in treating chest ailments, but in smaller amounts could help stomach disorders.
  • A study conducted by Cornell University has shown that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants than wine and tea, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Visitors to Monticello can sample hot chocolate made the way Thomas Jefferson preferred it. Using stone roasted cacao, sugar, and spices.
  • When cocoa from the Americas first arrived in London in the 17th century, it was an instant hit with artisans, philosophers, thinkers, and even politicians.
  • European hot chocolate first came to the US as early as the 1600s by the Dutch, but the first time colonists began selling hot chocolate was around 1755.
  • During World War I, volunteers from the YMCA set up recovery stations near the battlefields to assist and comfort fatigued troops; warm cups of hot chocolate were staples at these stations.
  • Americans fighting in World War II were also treated to the hot drink when cocoa was added to some of the military’s field rations in 1944.
  • The largest hot chocolate party was attended by 2,106 participants and was achieved by Sanki Mayor (Japan) and Chocolatier Bonnat (France), in Mexico City, Mexico, on 4 March 2017. Sanki was celebrating its seventh anniversary in Mexico.
  • The largest cup of hot chocolate/cocoa contained 4,816.6 liters (1059.4 U   gal, 1272.3 US gal) and was achieved by the Municipio de Uruapan (Mexico), in Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico, on 6 January 2018.
  • In Peru, for example, hot chocolate is part of an ancient tradition served with Panettone at breakfast on Christmas Day. The tradition started in Cuzco, one of the world’s best quality cocoa-producing regions.
  • In the Netherlands hot chocolate is a very popular drink known as “warm chocolademelk”.
  • In mainland Europe primarily in Spain and Italy, hot chocolate is served very thick thanks to thickening agents such as cornstarch.
  • Among the multiple thick forms served in Europe is the Italian “cicoccolata densa”. The Spanish revere the combination of churros and hot chocolate, often having the consistency of chocolate pudding, as the working man’s breakfast.
  • In France, hot chocolate is often served at breakfast along with sliced bread spread with butter, jam, honey, or Nutella and is dunked into the drink.
  • In fact, there are specific brands of hot chocolate specially formulated for breakfast time.
  • Order a cup of “warme chocolade” or “chocolat chaud” in a Belgian café and other European areas, you will receive a cup of steaming white milk and a small bowl of bittersweet chocolate chips to dissolve in the milk. Rich hot chocolate is often served in demitasse cups.
  • Cacao trees are found only in hot, rainy, tropical climates, 20 degrees north and south of the equator, just like vanilla.
  • Cocoa/chocolate is thought to be an aphrodisiac.
  • Cocoa beans are called “cocoa” beans and not “cacao” beans because of a spelling mistake made by English importers in the 18th century when chocolate was becoming popular.
  • The Swiss consume more chocolate per capita than any other nation on earth: 22 pounds each compared to 11 pounds per person in the United States.


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